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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Georgia Republicans: Surly, and Not That Healthy

After its stunning discovery that half of Texas Republicans look favorably on the idea of leaving the United States, the DKos/Research 2000 polling team has apparently decided to ask the same question in other states. The latest poll, from my home state of Georgia, shows 32% of Peach State Republicans look favorably on the idea of secession. Since only 14% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree, the secessionist GOPers are a bit isolated in pulling for a return to 1861. (Or maybe earlier: The DKos article on the poll also has a useful link to a Jay Bookman column for the Atlanta papers about a resolution recently passed by the Georgia Senate that calls for bringing back the concept of state nullification of federal laws).
The same poll also shows three potential Democratic gubernatorial candidates looking pretty competitive against the two established GOP frontrunners, with Roy Barnes (who hasn’t decided if he’s running), Thurbert Baker and David Poythress all holding Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine to a single-digit lead, and all three leading Secretary of State Karen Handel. The race was further complicated today when Republican congressman Nathan Deal (a former Democrat) announced for Governor; it’s looking increasingly likely that both parties will have intense multi-candidate primaries followed by runoffs. Georgia Republicans are notably divided over the records of term-limited incumbent GOP governor Sonny Perdue and a fractious Republican-controlled legislature.
The more surprising thing in the new poll is that it shows both Roy Barnes and congressman Jim Marshall holding incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson to a single-digit lead, and under 50%. Though the president is thought to be relatively unpopular in Georgia, his favorable/unfavorable ratings there (49/46) are quite similar to those of the generally well-regarded Isakson (47-41).
Even in the Deep South, the GOP is in less than healthy shape, and if they can’t make it there, they can’t make it anywhere.

One comment on “Georgia Republicans: Surly, and Not That Healthy

  1. George on

    A recent GOP oriented poll (Insider Advantage) had Obama’s favorables in GA at 51%. If the economy improves at all without Obama making people nervous about social policy in the next year, it will make for an closer race than most would think. White share of the vote in GA is now close to 60%, down from 70% the last time Roy Barnes ran (and Thurbert Baker isn’t going to get a free-pass from the African American community).
    GA isn’t out of the question for Obama in 12. And – should either Barnes or Baker win, redistricting/reapportionment will yield a very different result.


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