Better Georgia released a poll showing President Obama only 3 points behind Mitt Romney in Georgia.

Despite this poll, the Obama Campaign has announced that Georgia is not a battleground state, that they do not intend to make Georgia a battleground state and have no desire to expand on the current 2 person staff in state.  They are actively recruiting Georgians however, to go to Florida and North Carolina to campaign for the President.

You can read the full poll for yourself here.

As you may remember, in 2008, then Senator Obama only needed 2.7% more of the vote to win Georgia.

I asked Don Weigel, the Political Director for Better Georgia, what he thought the poll results mean, he said:

It’s clear from these results that Georgia voters aren’t happy with Georgia’s leaders and they want a government that works for them. Government is supposed to be us — nothing more and nothing less than citizens banding together to solve problems none of us can solve alone. Problems like creating strong public schools so our kids can compete in the global economy will never be solved unless our elected officials put the needs of their districts ahead of their campaign war chests.

Given the fact that there was no candidate recruitment strategy on behalf of the state party, the house caucus or the senate caucus…  leaving Democrats not even challenging for 50% in the state house or the state senate, the fewest Democrats running for office in an even year election than in the past 100 years and the lack of a coordinated campaign effort… no wonder the Obama Campaign is giving up on Georgia despite the relatively small margin that separates the President from a victory here.


19 Responses to Better Georgia Poll

  1. ire says:

    FWIW, Obama ads are all over CNN. Nothing from Mitt.

  2. JMPrince says:

    “Success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan” Orig Itl: “La vittoria trova cento padri, e nessuno vuole riconoscere l’insuccesso”.

    Suffice it to say that there’s more than enough dysfunction to go around with out sitting down now to actually count the ways. That’s too depressing, frankly. But thanks goes to everyone, Bunny included, who do what they can to further the cause of Democrats in Ga. This includes the YD’s & Steve & Trevor & cohorts and casts of misfits and official miscreants who seen & unseen do what they can and must to try and stem the tide. It would be nice to be better recognized or acknowledged, but don’t wait for it because it so rarely comes for so many. Worse when it does come, it’ll be commonly misattributed. C’est la Vie.

    “It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” Harry Truman (after Montague).

    And oh yeah, if true, Chris has a serious point that still does not undermine Trevor’s original observation. And it’s still true that ‘You get more bounce from Curtis Counce’:

    Which is more than Bunny Berigan could say at the time, who was not much for counting at all, and led to his drinking problem. Which is where we came in, right at the depression bit. JMP

  3. gette says:

    Trevor is one of those folks in this State that despite the lack of support from our own State Party, is working tirelessly to make sure candidates have coordinated get out the vote exposure (in coordination with Steve Golden- and certainly in the 11th District). It is a sad state of affairs when I get requests for lawn signs and there is limited information on where they can be obtained. There are people out here in Cherokee County who want to show their pride and support for our President. Unfortunately, the National DNC did the smell test here in GA and moved on and not because there aren’t folks here who want to work for the campaign.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks for the recognition.

      I, like Trevor, do not know where the blame lies, and frankly, I do not think that blame lies with any single individual. Take two case studies:

      – The Gerald Greene/Bob Hanner seat is above 60% DPI, and has a high minority population. The person we qualified there was summarily disqualified, literally handing over to the Republicans a seat that they expected us to take.
      – In spite of my (and others’) best efforts, Fran Millar is without opposition. This is particularly troublesome, because that DPI is somewhere between 45-48%, a completely winnable seat. But, again, nothing.

      I say this to make the point that, although the stated intent of many was to run in competitive races, we failed to do that, miserably. And, as Trevor points out, less than half of the seats are even contested by Democrats, even though some of those seats are either winnable this year, or in the next cycles. Winning a close race takes time and prepping, and doesn’t just happen overnight.

      Again, I don’t know who is at fault here. Is it institutional? Is it the failure of individual leaders? I have no idea, but not recognizing the severity of this issue will just send us deeper into the hole in 2014 and beyond. Trevor and I were in no way on the outside of this. I was personally working with leaders in the Democratic Party to recruit candidates, and Trevor and I were successful in recruiting somewhere in the realm of 8 to run for various offices throughout the state.

      Here’s the takeaway everyone needs to really think about:

      Institutionally, this year was a joke. It was abhorrent recruitment-wise. If we keep this negative momentum up, we might as well close down Trabert, because there won’t be any elected Democrats to make it worthwhile to even expense a dime. What we need to figure out is what went wrong, and figure out ways to fix it TODAY, so that going forward, we can compete once again.

      If anyone wants to hear about my idea, let me know. I’m somewhere between the inside and the outside, so I guess my perspective is unique.

      • Chris says:

        Be wary of DPI that comes from NCEC particularly in split counties. They allocated 2008 absentee votes (half of the vote) using an across the board average method for large counties. So – Fran Millar whose district is 80% DeKalb county – has the very Republican portion of a very Democratic county getting mis-reported at a rate of 40% of the district – and these 40% of the votes could be coming in as high as 40% above what the Democratic vote actually was. That’s a lot of math, but suffice it to say that for the ’08 Presidential election, ’08 Senate race, ’08 PSC etc the numbers that went into the formula could be too high by as much as 16%! Maybe even higher. And since that’s about 1/3 of the total formula, that translates into an error of 5% or greater. So what looks like a 45%-48% DPI district is actually around 40% and not actually winnable.

        And the mistake works in reverse too – they were trying to tell Doug Stoner that his existing district (that he won 2004-2010) was only 52% Democratic – because they were averaging in Republican Cobb early votes into his Democratic portion of Cobb average – despite the fact that Doug was typically winning with 60-65% of the vote and if you looked at the precinct level results, he was typically getting the same percentage as Obama and others.

        In other words – NCEC really screwed us with DPI and like many parts of the national party, didn’t really give a shit about fixing it since we’re just Georgia. It would be awesome if Fran’s Senate district was competitive – I might get a Democratic state senator for once – but it isn’t true.

        • Steve says:

          I understand the statistical background there, but there is an underlying point: it’s not UNcompetetive. And, frankly, most people don’t quite understand the point you made, so what is the excuse for not seeking out a candidate?

          So yes, the DPI may overstate, but in a metro Atlanta area district like Millar’s, it’s not by 16%. But, really, that wasn’t the point.

          • Chris says:

            I just said a portion of the formula might be as high as 16% off translating to about 5%. We can argue all day about the # but suffice it to say that district isn’t winnable – and yes that makes a huge difference in the type of candidate you can recruit to run there.

            The initial plan, I believe was to try to get one of Parent/Holcomb to run for that “winnable” senate district and let the other run for the House seat. Very damaging to credibility had one of them run, put a lot of $ into the campaign being told hey you only need to swing 2 or 3 % to get to a victory, had they then swung that 2 or 3% and ended up with…44%.

            I’m not excusing the lack of candidate recruitment that happened, far from it, just saying that there were at least 15 more winnable (probably mostly House) seats ahead of SD 40. I would rather have a candidate in every seat to be sure, but we aren’t winning SD 40 anytime soon so I’m not losing any sleep over it.

            • Trevor Southerland says:

              Here’s my thing… and it’s what Chris touches on at the end…

              “I’m not excusing the lack of candidate recruitment that happened… I would rather have a candidate in every seat to be sure.”

              In my opinion, some races that have a DPI of 40% might be more winnable than races with a DPI of 47% due to various circumstances that we all know exist.

              But the big factor here is you’ve got to have candidates to have a race. Lightening can strike, but if there’s no D in the race, it doesn’t matter…

              And like Steve says, there is no one person we can blame for this… it’s an institutional problem. I mean, who is in charge of candidate recruitment?

              Do we really expect a Vice Chairman of the state party who doesn’t get paid to recruit 200+ candidates? No, that’s stupid. Unless they’re multi-millionaires the officers of the state party are volunteers, they can’t dedicate 60+ hours a week to this.

              Is it the job of the DPG? The Caucuses? There’s no direct line that says “you are responsible for candidate recruitment” but there needs to be… heck, even if it’s an outside group, I don’t care… somebody needs to be doing that job (and again, I mean job, not volunteer position.)

              You know, Jeff Kazanow in CD 6 and Patrick Thompson in CD 11 have some dang huge hills to climb… but by them being there, it makes Tom Price and Phil Gingrey a little bit less likely to send all their money to Pennsylvania or Florida or Ohio, etc… just like if we would have a candidate up in Whitfield County or against Chip Rogers, etc… it would be harder for the GAGOP to pour as much money as they’re pouring in against not only Doug Stoner, but Michael Smith, and other vulnerable D seats too.

  4. Saul Goodman says:

    Trevor, coming from an inside perspective (which you are longer considered to be since your termination at the state party for lack of performance) much of what you have stated is categorically false. The caucuses worked tirelessly to make sure Dems would be as competitive in as many districts as possible.
    The party as a whole would be well served if these person vendettas were places aside and we all concentrate on what really matters: electing democrats.
    I hope we can all get on board as soon as possible. For the General Assembly is dark and full of Republicans.

    • Trevor Southerland says:

      Saul –

      Can you tell me why we have less Democrats running for office in 2012 than in the last 100 years?

      Also, I have no personal vendettas, and since my termination from the state party (BTW, “lack of performance” was never mentioned)… I have continued to help numerous Democratic candidates.

      I’m glad to know that the Yellow Dog Club, the Georgia Dem Store, and other programs that I either put in place or helped put in place during my time at the party are still performing well and helping the party and our candidates survive.

      I’m on board. But we need to figure out why we have so few Democrats running in 2012, so that we can correct that for 2014.

    • Jen B. says:

      What does it mean when DPG could not recruit anyone to run against Mike Jacobs and Doug McKillip (now Regina Quick)?

      • Bunny Bixler says:

        Sandy Murray was running against Mike J, but has decided to get her butt kicked in the BrookHaven mayors race instead.

        No one was found at the 11th hour to take the slot on the D ballot.

    • CG57 says:


      Seems like you’re highlighting the problem with your comment. Rather than figuring out a way for Dems to work together, you’d rather black ball the ones you don’t like.

      Oh, and getting back to the business of electing Democrats… What’s currently being done to elect Democrats? Obviously the Obama campaigns has no interest in Georgia other than raising money and sending us to other states to register voters.

      We have to stop this ridiculous bickering with one another if we ever expect to start winning elections. Quit blaming people for the party’s ills until you look into the mirror and ask yourself what can be done.

      I hope someone like Trevor can find a job in a state that matter and prove the haters wrong, because it’s enough already. If Georgia doesn’t make a Democratic comeback, look no further than yourself. The real enemy are the regressive Republicans, not folks who spend every waking hour trying to elect Democrats and progressives.

      Give it a freaking rest already.

  5. Bunny Bixler says:

    I had 3 people living at my house beginning in June 08. They were sent to FLA & VA before labor day. My “information” came from them. 2 people from OFA came back for the Martin run-off in Dec.

    Le sigh you would split hairs over such meager pickings.

    Yes, I realize that OFA had a presence in GA since 2008, and shared space at the DPG up until June. However, their efforts all this year were to direct calls to FLA and NC. Not in GA.

    • Tommy says:

      Gotcha, Bunny, you’re completely right there.

      In 2008, at least at some point in time there was an effort to win Georgia but in 2012, there was never even a thought of winning Georgia, just the plan to outsource Georgia volunteers to go or call North Carolina and Florida.

      Not sure how much of that had to do with damaged relations between the DPG and DNC, but it sure seems like there should have been as much effort put on winning Georgia in 2012 as there was in 2008, if not more.

      Le sigh is right.

  6. Bunny Bixler says:

    Folks need to remember that by this time in 2008 the Obama campaign had decamped GA for FL and VA.

    So by still having 2 people and lots of volunteers, it’s actually a bigger investment than 2008. It doesn’t “feel” like the same energy from 2008, but it’s a different tone less Hope and Change-more Hanging on and debunking all the lies this cycle.

    • Tommy says:

      Bunny, don’t know where you get your info from, but you’re wrong.

      Actually the Obama Campaign had two staff in Georgia up until election day 2008 and both of those employees stayed in Georgia until 2011.

      During 2011, we were down to one OFA staffer, but now we’re back up to 2.

      The difference is that until about the beginning of October in 2008, we had numerous OFA staffers in GA, when they pulled out in October 2008, they left 2 folks behind.

      So to recap:

      – In 2008, OFA didn’t pull out until October.
      – We’ve had two OFA staffers for most of the past 4 to 5 years.
      – This year there is no investment in GA, whereas in 2008 there was up until October.