On the campaign trail: Deal and Carter continue their education debate

Gov. Nathan Deal and state Sen. Jason Carter are headed for their second campaign discussion in three days of education policy, but this time it will be a head-to-head confrontation between the two candidates.

The Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) has commitments from Deal and Carter to appear at a candidates forum Monday afternoon where they will share the stage and take questions at the same time.

Deal and Carter participated in a similar forum last Friday at an education leaders’ conference in Atlanta hosted by the state Department of Education.  In that venue, however, they made their comments to the audience separately.

Carter appeared to receive a somewhat warmer reception at that Friday appearance before school administrators.  As reported by Walter C. Jones for Morris News:

Deal, the Republican governor seeking a second term, received just polite applause when introduced and at his conclusion.

Carter, his Democratic challenger, was repeatedly interrupted by clapping.

Though he’s earned national recognition for public speaking, Deal wasn’t interrupted once and failed to get a titter or even charitable grins for his quip about computer programming qualifying as a foreign language because it’s certainly seems foreign to him.

Some words on those differing polls

It has been noted that Friday was probably the busiest day of this election cycle for the release of polls involving Georgia’s closely watched races for governor and the Senate.

No less than three major polls hit the streets, and as in earlier surveys conducted for those races, the results were all over the map.

Deal was ahead of Carter in two of the polls, while Carter had the advantage in one poll.  Republican David Perdue had the advantage over Democrat Michelle Nunn in two of the polls – one of which gave Perdue a whopping 10-point lead – while Nunn held a small edge over Perdue in one poll.

Insider Advantage’s Matt Towery, whose firm has also posted some wildly varying poll results this year, posted this commentary Monday on his website:

Polling Georgia is tricky business because of our unique mix of rural versus city, natives (a shrinking number) versus transplants, young versus old, and the strong number of African-American voters and a growing number of other “non-white” residents.

Our firm has decided to weight African-American voters at around 33% of the expected vote this November. This is an adjustment we made based on several factors. First, the African American turnout in 2010—the year of the Tea Party—was nearly 30%. When determining the weight for one demographic we must consider the weight to be applied to other groups. We have reason to believe that the turnout among white voters will be strong this year, but no more than in 2010.

With several of the counties with the largest African-American populations moving to a “Sunday” vote and a major registration effort underway, we believe that the historic levels of black voter turnout seen in 2008 and 2012, as a percentage of the overall vote, might actually be eclipsed this year. No pollster can remain stuck on their models, so as data or events change, so might our weighting. But it is very hard to imagine that we will be weighting African-American voters under 30% at any future point in this election year. . . .

There is absolutely no way to tell which of the many pollsters in the Georgia contest are on target. My best suggestion to the hardcore political junkie is to constantly look at the RealClearPolitics average in both the gubernatorial race and the battle between Nunn and Perdue.

At the moment, that average would show Deal and Perdue leading their respective races. But those averages would also suggest that the days of Republicans rolling into office with just a mediocre effort are over. I mean really over. And the days that the polls are more active than some candidates have arrived.

NRA endorses Perdue

David Perdue has received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the Senate race, with NRA Chairman Chris Cox commenting, “David recognizes that the Second Amendment is a fundamental, individual constitutional right. He has stated his commitment to defending it from elitist gun control advocates like President Obama and Mike Bloomberg.”

“As a lifelong hunter and sportsman, I know the Second Amendment is not only about hunting,” Perdue said. “It is about our right to protect our family, our property, and even our country if necessary.”

© 2014 by The Georgia Report


Tags: David Perdue , Jason Carter , Matt Towery , Michelle Nunn , Nathan Deal , NRA , PAGE candidates forum , statewide polls