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In the DK Elections Live Digest thread, there was a comment that there was a poll done for the potential Democratic primary field.   The polling outfit the Hicks Evaluation Group(H.E.G) surveyed 1,411 Democratic voters(warning: contains pdf) who voted in at least 2 of the following 4 Democratic elections:  2012 Presidential primary, 2012 primary, 2010 primary and 2010 primary runoff.   The margin of error was 2.6%, and 45% was weighed to be within ten counties(Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas,
Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale) while 55% were everywhere else.   The respondents were 63% female and 37% male.   76.3% identified themselves as "strong Democrat".

The poll found that the plurality of respondents were undecided(21.5%), and the three top named potential candidates(there was a total of 7) were GA-02 Congressman Sanford Bishop(16.3%), former Georgia Attorney General and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Thurbert Baker(15.4%) and former Georgia Secretary of State and 2006 gubernatorial candidate Cathy Cox(15%).   Of note, 2010 Democratic primary runnerup and former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones only got 5.7% and lost out to the "someone else" category(8.8%) so the one solid thing I take from this poll is that Democratic voters reject Jones as a candidate.  

Below the orange squiggle, I'll take a brief look at the top 3 named in the poll.

Congressman Sanford Bishop is an African-American Blue Dog Democrat who represents a South Georgia district(it includes most of Columbus and Macon).   He was first elected to Congress in 1992 and will be 68 in 2014.   Bishop has a history of winning close elections when his district was made majority white(the 2010 redistricting made his district majority minority) including winning a 51%-49% squeaker in 2010.  Bishop certainly has done some Blue Doggish things like co-sponsoring a school prayer bill in 1997.  He voted for the Iraq War in 2002. Bishop has a mixed record on LGBT issues:  he voted for ENDA, but he also voted yes to a Constitutional Amendment against marriage equality and yes to banning gay adoptions in Washington DC. Bishop also had a scholarship controversy in 2010, which got him a dishonorable mention on CREW's 2011 list.   However, Bishop is capable of delivering some needed voters like his yes vote on ACES(aka Waxman-Markey) and on Obamacare despite his anti-choice beliefs.   Bishop also voted for the 1994 Assault Weapons ban so he has the capability to take on the NRA(which has given him high scores in recent years).   Thusly, he could be an acceptable candidate to me if he runs.   He'd function like a McCaskill or a Hagan by providing the votes when needed.

Thurbert Baker, an African-American, served as Georgia Attorney General from 1997 until 2011.  He would be 62 in 2014.  In 2006, he got votes and a higher percentage than any other Democrat running statewide.  Baker seems like almost any other Democratic former Attorney General:  has one case that a vocal minority hates him for, generally inoffensive to voters.   I can't find a position on choice with him.   Baker did take a courageous stand against Georgia Republicans who pressured him to sue the Obama administration over Obamacare and he said "hell no" to that.  Baker seems to have the endorsement of the gun rights crowd.  Baker enjoyed an A+ rating from the NRA as Georgia Attorney General (warning: very RKBA Democrat perspective in the link).   Given Baker's proven statewide appeal, he would make for a strong candidate even though he'd likely legislate as a conservative Democrat.   But he would certainly be better than John Barrow.   I could see Baker winning against Paul Broun, and I think he could at least make it close against Karen Handel, who could flameout due to her extreme anti-choice views.

Cathy Cox(not to be confused with a Georgia Republican named Kathy Cox) was Georgia Secretary of State from 1999 until 2007.   When Cox ran in the Democratic primary in 2006, she was attacked for being pro-choice.  Given that choice was a key part of the 2012 election, and that women will likely make a huge difference in the 2014 midterms, Cox's views could be an asset against Handel or against Broun.   Cox's history on LGBT issues could cost her now though.   In 2006, she pandered to the homophobes and "supported" a ban on marriage equality.   So Georgia progressives may not want to support her.   I'd have to wait and see if Cox sounds more like a moderate Democrat or the kind of Democrat that John Barrow is.

Personally, I would like to see more polling that includes other potential candidates but I guess we may have to wait for somebody on the Democratic side to declare themselves running.   I am opposed to John Barrow because it would stupidly give up a Democratic House seat and Barrow is untested statewise, and he just has a douchey voting record.


Best candidate for Georgia's Democratic primary?

18%20 votes
10%11 votes
26%29 votes
0%1 votes
11%13 votes
11%13 votes
5%6 votes
0%0 votes
5%6 votes
10%11 votes

| 110 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

    by pistolSO on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:28:42 PM PST

  •  Kaseem Reed is A1 n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  Reed basically said that he isn't running. (3+ / 0-)

      Reed's anti-gun record would help him with progressives, but he's sort of a Cory Booker type of Democrat looking at how he seems corporatist.  

      Reed would still be better than Barrow though IMO.

      I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

      by pistolSO on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:09:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in Georgia and this race seems hopeless (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, oceanview

    right now.

    Howard Dean says press on though.   There is time.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:14:59 PM PST

    •  Not giving up on this race. It's early so no need (7+ / 0-)

      for any skepticism.  We will find our candidate and we will win.

      Funny Stuff at

      by poopdogcomedy on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:20:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with poopdogcomedy. (8+ / 0-)

        Paul Broun could turn independents who are women into voting Democratic, and Karen Handel has the Komen baggage and I imagine that women in Georgia will not like that she tried to destroy Planned Parenthood(which does a lot of cancer screenings) because they dare to actually cover every women's health issue.

        Demographics in Georgia are making it trend bluer.  2014 being an "off year" will make it challenging to turn out young voters, but the right candidate could make women turn out in droves and vote Democratic and thus give us a chance of flipping that seat.

        I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

        by pistolSO on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:31:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tough Race Of Course (6+ / 0-)

          but like others mentioned GA is slowly but surely trending blue as the demographics of the state are changing.  Obama only lost there 53% to 45% in 2012 and lost it only 52% to 47% in 2008.

          I could see a strong base vote of about 46% or so in the state for a good Democratic candidate.  Getting the other 4 to 5 percent will be tough but it's not impossible.  Rep. Barrow might be the type of Democrat who can win. And I wouldn't count out former AG Thurbert Baker who won three elections as AG and was one of the most successful statewide Democrats before losing to Roy Barnes in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2010. He is the tough on crime, pro-gun conservative Democrat that can win in GA...and his being black has not hurt him in his race in this southern state.

          •  Other names. Bluestate Georgia blog! (3+ / 0-)

            Other possibilities:

            Calvin Smyre (my favorite)

            Stephanie Stuckey Benfield

            Shirley Franklin

            Jim Marshall

            I've seen Clark Howard suggested, but have also seen that he voted for Gary Johnson for Prez. I think he'd be a strong as hell candidate if he ran as a Dem.

            Visit the Bluestate Georgia blog, by Kossack larryfeltonj (Larry Felton Johnson):

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:36:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Clark Howard would be an interesting candidate as (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey, terjeanderson

              ...a Dem. I thought he was Republican, but if not, he would be worth watching.

              I think Mayor Franklin, or former State Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears who has also won statewide, might be worth consideration as well.

              Whoever the nominee turns out to be, they are going to have to run a great campaign. The campaign will have to exceed the lackluster operations of Barnes and others.

              "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

              by sebastianguy99 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 03:47:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Leah Sears! Great idea! Except... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I would gladly vote for Leah Sears. But her track record on the Supreme Court provides a ton of red meat to inflame the inflammable citizens of Georgia. She has integrity, but she's unelectable here:

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:15:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I Think Marshall (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              already declined to run.  Franklin would interesting.

  •  Never give up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terjeanderson, JBraden

    This is February 2013.  How can the Georgia U.S. Senate race be a lost cause?  That's like saying we're scared of conservatives.

    I ain't afraid of no conservative.

  •  Do not bother John Barrow! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cks175, GoUBears, terjeanderson

    He needs to stay in GA-12 if we want any hope of regaining the House this decade.  Reminder: We already have a majority in the Senate.  We do not in the House.

    Sanford Bishop's moderate profile and Thurbert Baker's statewide appeal are good things.  Democrats should not give up on this race - it's early - so early, Paul Broun has not even opened his mouth yet.  Just wait.

  •  Cathy Cox (0+ / 0-)

    Pro-choice would not be an asset in Georgia by any stretch of the imagination.

    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

    by wwmiv on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 01:04:47 AM PST

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