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Republican challenger in GA-12, Lee Anderson, leads in new poll

Republican challenger in GA-12, Lee Anderson, leads in new poll

The battle between Lee Anderson and John Barrow for the fate of Georgia’s 12th Congressional district is under way and it appears that the race is going to be a tight one. This is on the Operation Counterweight final list.

After a protracted primary battle, Anderson officially secured the Republican nomination early this month. Since then, Anderson has been campaigning throughout the district to try to make up for lost time.

A recently released poll suggests that its working, but Anderson’s lead is razor thin and well within the statistical margin of error.

The poll shows the Republican challenger leading the incumbent Democrat 44-43, with 13 percent still undecided.

Although the race is close, there are number of factors that offer encouraging signs.

First, the newly redrawn district leans Republican. Second, as the poll points out, the more Anderson’s name recognition increases, the bigger his lead gets.

Among the 3 in 4 voters who have heard of both candidates Lee Anderson leads 48%-41%. Among the almost half of all voters who have a firm opinion of both candidates Lee Anderson leads Congressman Barrow 53%-43%.

The late start Anderson was forced to make means that his name recognition is suffering, which the poll suggests is a big reason Anderson isn’t further ahead.

Getting a debate going between the two candidates is not going well. Anderson has repeatedly stated that he will only debate Barrow if the incumbent admits that he will be voting for President Obama, and tells the people of Georgia’s 12th Congressional district who he supports for speaker of the house.

Anderson’s position reflects the dynamics of the nationally watched race.

Barrow, who recently moved from Savannah to Augusta, wants a fifth term in the recently reshaped 12th, which now tilts toward the GOP. Republicans think this is their best chance in a decade to win the seat.

They’re trying hard to link Barrow to fellow Democrats Obama and Nancy Pelosi, former House speaker.

Many on the national stage have said that Anderson’s speaking style would handicap him in a debate exchange with Barrow.

However, as someone who has lived in Georgia for over a decade, I think that most Georgian’s, especially from the 12th district region, would say that Anderson simply sounds a lifelong time resident of south Georgia.

Barrow has accused Anderson of ducking the debate, but in an interview with with a local television station, Anderson rejects the charge:

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I’m stunned by the perception of the “many on the national stage” who believe Mr. Anderson’s speaking style, which is basically that he sounds like he’s from Georgia, will handicap him in a debate in a race in Georgia.

I also think it’s funny his opponent will not say he’s supporting Obama, but will only phrase it as he’s supporting the top of the ticket. Reminds me of the way no one in the Obama administration will say the words “Islamic terrorist.”

And finally, I will be so glad when this election season is over. I have noticed that for the first time in my life I seem to have actually memorized my credit card number from typing it in on political donations. Can’t wait to see this bill.

    barbara in reply to DemNoMore. | September 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I haven’t memorized mine, DNM, but I finally typed it onto the bottom of the list of those I’m donating to so I can just copy it and paste it into the forms. I do have the security code and expiration date memorized, though.

    I do know what my credit card bill will look like, however – I’ve been saving up since the 2010 election in preparation for this year, and won’t donate more than I have. That’s why I donate on paydays; sometimes I have a little extra I can add to the “war chest” I’m apportioning out over several months and several candidates.

    But I do have a little political money I’ve set aside for last-minute suggestions such as this, so $25 will be going Anderson’s way this afternoon.

    And I don’t know what’s wrong with the way he talks – sounds normal to this Southern girl. ;-p

      DemNoMore in reply to barbara. | September 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Oh, I’m with you — I don’t run my finances like the feds do. If I don’t have it, I don’t donate it. But I do admire those with the fortitude to run for office; and I do think our country will be in a much better place if Romney wins, especially if Republicans can gain control of the Senate and perhaps increase their majority in the House. So I’m trying to overcome my natural tendency to be a tightwad and give all I can afford to.

    casualobserver in reply to DemNoMore. | September 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    It makes you wonder if any of those on the ‘national stage’ have listened to Rep. Isakson speak. Or Sen. Chambliss speak. Or Rep. Gingrey. Or Rep. Westmoreland. Or for that matter the last and present governors. Georgia doesn’t shy away from accents. The evidence is overwhelming in that regard. And they have farmers and doctors alike in Congress.

Well, there is no point in going to vote. Yahoo has called the election. Obama has won. Maybe the democrats who have free cell phones will not bother to go to the polls.

    I would suggest that the cell phone Dems not bother going to vote on Nov. 7, TL. Why waste their time when they could be playing with those nifty phones?

      They can’t figure out what the red button is for, so they keep pushing the green button thinking that cash will come out of the bottom of those nifty free phones.

      Estragon in reply to barbara. | October 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      Perhaps, but you can bet they will all be getting multiple text messages reminding them to go vote for the guy who sent them their free phone.

I spent a number of my formative years living in Savannah and Atlanta. To those I still know in the state, I am told Barrow is far from a 21st century Democrat. His positions and votes are far from progressive (again, I am told) and he speaks out against his party with some regularity. So, I wonder if he can be painted as a pal of Pelosi so easily. We will see.

    It might depend on which votes he supported Obama on. Our Senator Mark Pryor regularly speaks out against Obama’s policies, but when time to vote comes on important issues like Obamacare, he always seems to be with Obama. Rep. Tim Griffin is the one who brought this free cell phone issue to the forefront, so I’m hoping he’s gearing up for a run against Pryor in a couple of years.

Senate and other down ticket races will be decided more on straight ticket voting than anything else, I suspect. The country is polarized a bit more sharply than usual, and I think a lot of folks will be voting not for candidates but for – or against – party and ideology.

In other Georgia news, The Demwit party doesn’t take to kindly to people switching parties. However, when a Republican switches it’s cause for celebration. More double standard.