Thursday, July 22, 2010

A look ahead to November General Election

Here are the matchups:

Gov: Roy Barnes (D-Mableton) vs Nathan Deal (R-Gainesville) or Karen Handel (R-Roswell)

Lt. Gov: Carol Porter (D-Dublin) vs Casey Cagle (R-Gainesville)

Sec. of State: Georganna Sinkfield (D-Atlanta), Gail Buckner (D-Morrow) vs Brian Kemp (R-Athens)

Attorney General: Ken Hodges (D-Albany) vs Sam Olens (R-Marietta), Preston Smith (R-Rome)

State School Superintendent: Joe Martin (D-Atlanta) vs John Barge (R-Marietta)

Insurance Commissioner: Mary Squires (D-Norcross) vs Ralph Hudgens (R-Hull), Maria Sheffield (R-Marietta)

Agriculture Commissioner: J.B. Powell (D-Blythe) vs Gary Black (R-Commerce)

Labor Commissioner: *Darryl Hicks (D-Reynolds) vs Mark Butler (R-Carrollton)

PSC Commission 2: Keith Moffett (D-Macon) vs John Douglas (R-Covington), Tim Echols (R-Athens)

U.S. Senate: Michael "Mike" Thurmond (D-Athens) vs Johnny Isakson (R-East Cobb)

Here are a couple of things to keep an eye on:

-The GOP attempt to tie Roy Barnes to President Obama & his policies in a attempt to distract voters from the core issues that are facing Georgia such as Water, Jobs, Transportation & education that has occurred under the watchful eye of the GOP during the last 8 years.

-Carol Porter attempt to unseat Casey Cagle at Lt Governor. There are still speculation surrounding Cagle that he's trying to cover up some serious baggage & that maybe the reason why he dropped out of the race for Governor. Eventually it will come out sometime during the General Election

-Will the losing democratic challengers campaign or endorse for Barnes during the General Election. If that happens, it will show a force of unity from the party. The party is not split like it was in 2006.

-How beatened & bloodied will the GOP nominee be once he/she faces Barnes? Both Handel & Deal have their flaws that Barnes will try to exploit to his advantage.

-Can Sam Olens or Preston Smith keep Ken Hodges from winning the Attorney General's Office? Hodges whipped Rob Teilhet in the primary garnering 65% of the vote in a route. Hodges successful record as D.A of Dougherty Co can't be matched by either Olens or Smith. Hodges has the support of both democrats & republicans in his attempt to replace Thurbert Baker.

-How big of a role will retiring Ag Commissioner Tommy Irvin play in helping J.B. Powell become the next Agriculture Commissioner? Gary Black, who was a former democrat until 2006 when decided to seek Irvin's seat has been campaigning for seat for a few yrs now. Will Georgia elect a lobbyist for Big Ag as it next Agriculture Commisisoner? If Irvin plays a big role in Powell's campaign, Black will be denied for a second time for the post of Ag Commissioner.

-How well will Mike Thurmond fare against Johnny Isakson? The race for the U.S. Senate is a different ballgame than Labor Commissioner. Thurmond has been traveling the state since announcing his bid for the U.S. Senate back in late April. Isakson is a well-entrenched incumbent who is fairly popular among Georgians. The question is will he feel the anti-incumbent heat from voters in November. With a shaky economy, out of control deficits, & weak job creation, Isakson may pay a political price at the polls, but it'll depend how Thurmond convinces voters that he's the right man for the job.

-The Obama Effect! Will the president come down & campaign for any democratic candidates? I seriously doubt it. The only candidate that can stand side by side with the president & not lose in november is Sanford Bishop.

-Who may we see come to Georgia for Roy Barnes, Mike Thurmond & Carol Porter? Expect Retiring Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Virginia Senators Mark Warner, Jim Webb & maybe Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor & Lousisiana Senator Mary Landrieu to come to Georgia & stump for Thurmond. Expect ex-president Bill Clinton (who has a 62% approval rating, higher that Obama), Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, (who maybe a candidate for the presidency in 2012, or 2016), North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, Outgoing Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell & maybe Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal who will leave office this year with one of the highest approval ratings in the country with 69% & Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, who is a moderate/conservative democrat.

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