Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cagle leads Ralph Reed

It's only an internal poll, but still ...
Casey Cagle's campaign staked a claim Monday to a six-point lead over rival Ralph Reed in the Republican contest for lieutenant governor, with half the voters undecided. The campaign also announced it will launch its first TV ad of the campaign in a week-long, statewide buy beginning Tuesday on cable channels.

Cagle's pollster John McLaughlin said in a telephone conference with reporters his poll shows Cagle leading Reed 27 percent to 21 percent, with 53 percent undecided. The survey was conducted May 9-11 among 400 likely primary voters, 85 percent of whom were very likely to vote, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.
Go read the whole thing.

As we told you last week, the most recent public poll showed a statistical dead heat (Reed 45% over Cagle 39%, which is barely within the +/-3% margin of error). Since the end of the legislative session, Cagle has rapidly closed the fund-raising gap on Reed, and as we exclusively reported, the Reed campaign's big Rudy Giuliani fundraiser was a flop.

Cagle's clearly got the momentum, with less than 2 months until the July 18 GOP primary, so we know what comes next: Reed will go negative. Be on the lookout for the Reed machine to try push-polling smears against Cagle.

** UPDATES **

The new ad (h/t Lucy), running in Fox News broadcasts on cable systems around the state, features Cagle talking to young supporters, saying, "You've got my word on it," and ends with an announcer calling Cagle "The Conservative You Can Trust."

* * * * *
The Cherokee Tribune reports on the Reed-Cagle debate in Canton. Short version:
Reed: "Promise! Pander! Promise! Pander!"
Cagle: Co-sponsored Georgia SB 529, which denies state services to adults living in the state illegally and provides sanctions for companies that knowingly employ illegal immigrants.

* * * * *
Georgia conservative blogger Jace Walden sez: "Reed is in it for Reed. Ralph could care less about the citizens of Georgia. ... Where was Ralph Reed during the eminent domain debate? Where was Ralph Reed during the illegal immigration debate? Definitely not in Georgia. Why would we want a Lt. Governor whose interests are self-serving at worst and, well, self-serving at best?"

Good one Jace, and you probably don't even know the half of what a backstabbing, two-faced gutless weasel Ralph really is. He sold out his Christian supporters, and now he's desperately sucking up to the Big Money country-club crowd. He never really was a conservative, never had any core beliefs, and now that his moral bankruptcy has been exposed, he is more dangerous than ever.

Also blogging the Reed-Cagle race: Georgia Unfiltered ....

* * * * *
Save the GOP recalls some of Reed's long history of shamelessly pimping for bad candidates:
Ralph Reed represents the establishment wing of the GOP that works more for increasing power instead of pushing the conservative agenda. ...
Most noticeably Ralph Reed worked for Mitch Skandalakis over the more conservative Clint Day in the 1998 Lt. Governor’s race in Georgia. Skandalakis lost the general election and dragged the GOP ticket down with him. ... Skandalakis later [pleaded] guilty to corruption charges and spent 6 months in jail.
I see that the guys at Save the GOP got started working for Toomey (vs. Specter) and Cain (vs. Isakson), in each race backing the more conservative "insurgent" candidate over the "establishment" candidate.

Mark & Alex: You're obviously on the right track. My truck-driving brother in Douglas County, Georgia -- who is most definitely not politically correct -- was totally excited about Herman Cain, and was really disappointed at Cain's loss. Isakson has surprised me, but the GOP lost a huge chance when the establishment went against Cain.

For more than 20 years, Reed's organizing abilities have helped the GOP, but as a policy/principle/strategy guy, he has repeatedly led Republicans into silly symbolism and disastrous decisions. I never in a million years would have believed they could make Santorum walk the plank for Specter. (Who made that happen? Hmmm?) So Specter gets re-elected, and the Democrats will take Santorum's seat in November. Brilliant!

Famous "GOP Establishment" advice:
1992: "Don't worry about that 'read my lips' thing -- voters don't really care about taxes."
1996: "Trust us. Bob Dole's the guy who can rally the principled conservative opposition to Clinton."
2002: "Yeah, there's a lot of good reasons to crush Saddam's regime, but this 'weapons of mass destruction' thing is your best argument, Chief."
2006: "Hey, I've got an idea! Let's have an amnesty for illegal aliens. But anybody who calls it an 'amnesty,' we'll call them a liar. That will really help build trust between the party and the voters."

Like a lot of other "smart" Republican advisers, Reed has spent years getting paid handsomely for giving bad advice, taking the money and walking away, leaving behind a trail of broken promises and ruined careers. It isn't a "win at all cost" problem, it's just bad instincts, a preference for style over substance, and a complete absence of any real principles.

** NEW UPDATES COMING SOON **

Previously on RALPH REED:
5/18: Ralph & Rudy FLOP!
5/11: Anti-Reed Blog Brigade

5/9: Devil Going Down in Georgia
5/6:
What a drag
4/23: Reed's decline continues
4/21: Reed hits another iceberg
4/7: His lips are moving
3/11: Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin

3/4: Reed "flat-out wrong."

-- McCAIN


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