Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Women Trending Democratic, But Not Toward Taylor

Based on the results of two recent polls, it appears that while 60% of Southern women are prepared to support a Democrat for Congress, Georgia women favor Perdue over Taylor by eleven points (Perdue 47%, Taylor 36%).

Two recent polls, one conducted by Insider Advantage and the other conducted by AP-Ipsos, together paint a very discouraging picture for Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor. The Ap-Ipsos poll found that in a generic house race, Republicans are behind Democrats in all regions of the country, even in the South where in 2004, among women, Bush got 54% of the vote. (The South was the only region where Bush won among women.) It appears that the Republican advantage among Southern women has now evaporated, with 60% of female registered voters now saying that they would vote for the Democrat in their congressional district, and 61% of Southern women saying that they disapprove of Bush's job performance.

The Insider Advantage poll shows Perdue still hovering below the 50% mark but leading Taylor overall 49% to 32% with 19% undecided. Certainly, a lot can change between now and November, but Perdue leading among female voters and pulling 19% of Democrats with 21% undecided is not good news.

I have said this before: it is not enough to talk about what women or Democrats who supported Cathy Cox "ought" to do. This election will come down to what they actually choose to do. It's the result that matters, not who's fault it is if Taylor loses. Here's what Matt Towery had to say:

"These numbers mean Taylor must do two things in the coming weeks, build himself up and tear Perdue down. But there are lingering issues from the brutal primary battle that still haven't been put to rest. For one thing, the Taylor campaign's lawyer still is suing the Cox press spokesman over an issue that flared in the final weeks of that campaign. Whoever has that lawsuit still going should be drawn and quartered because if they think they're going to win this race without Cathy Cox, they're insane. This poll screams that."

In the past when the issue of this lawsuit continuing has been raised, folks have been quick to point out that it is not Taylor who is doing the suing here. True, but the reality is that the lawsuit was born in the heat of the primary and the plaintiff is represented by the Taylor campaign's attorney. The fact that the issue continues to be discussed, privately and publicly, is an indicator that this is a problem for Taylor. In my conversations with women, it is among the top two or three reasons they give for why they are wavering in their support for him. Will this issue make or break the election? I don't know, but it has the potential to become an albatross around the neck of the Lt. Governor who is going to be scrambling for every vote he can get in November.


Tina said...

I was a supporter of Cathy Cox, and as a loyal Democrat I plan to vote for Mark Taylor. He has my vote. It would make me feel better if his campaign appealed to more of my interests especially in the areas of social services, public transportation, consumer issues like the exorbitant interest rates being charged by loan sharks (up to 300%, minimum wage, and the environment. Health care, Hope grant, and crime prevention are fine and worthy issues but after a while I want to hear more. Democrats have to make the voters hungry for a change.

Button Gwinnett said...

The Taylor campaign's outreach efforts are going to have to be stepped up. It's easy to say that people should just do what we feel like is "the right thing." But it doesn't work that way. It's odd that, as a former Cox supporter, I have received a letter from Sonny Perdue asking me for my support. Yet, I've not heard one word from the Taylor campaign. And if I haven't, that must mean there are others.

I don't need to be asked to do anything. Taylor's got my vote. But this tells me that not everything is being done that can be done to win these people over. And it's not just Cox supporters. There were also a lot of frustrated or disinterested people that sat on the sidelines during the primary, voting for neither Cox nor Taylor.

I'm glad to hear from Amy and others that Mark has been so gracious in his personal outreach to Cox supporters. Surely there are others in the Taylor campaign doing an equally good job.

Unfortunately, there are also some Taylor people who are every bit as bad as any Cox supporter embittered by this summer's primary result. Instead of reminding us of why we should support Taylor, they continue to club Cox over the head as if she's still the opponent. Those people are hurting Taylor. Right now, they are a part of the problem and not the solution. Of all the things that need to change, put that one at the top of the list.

idealistlefty said...

It also needs to be mentioned that Towrey is incorrect saying Mark's campaign is behind the lawsuit against Cox's spokesperson. The individual filing suit is an official from Miller county who Cox's spokesperson slandered during the course of the campaign. He is not affliated with Mark's campaign and I'm sure the Lt. Gov's campaign would rather he drop it...but since he is a private individual who feels like he was slandered (they said he had a police record etc.) I doubt he cares about the politics of the situation. He just wants people to know he isn't a felon.

As for the other comments, I totally agree. We need to come together as Democrats to take back our state and there is every indication that the Taylor campaign has done everything possible to reach out to Cathy...I just hope she can put her ego aside for the good of the people of Georgia.

Amy Morton said...

I should probably say-again-that I'm voting for Taylor. I would like this not to be a problem, but "wishes and hopes" won't get us there. This is a poltical problem for Taylor, and one that reminds fence-sitters of what the don't like about him instead of what they do like about him. Surely someone with his political skills can solve this problem. This is not just a random citizen; he's a Taylor supporter who put his neck on the line in the heat of a nasty primary. So, I don't buy that Mark has no influence here. If he didn't need every vote, I wouldn't be talking about this.

Plus, the lawsuit

Amy Morton said...

I meant to finish that last comment:

"Plus the lawsuit is something Sonny can use to remind former Cox supporter of some of the things they did not like."

After all, isn't Towery a Republican?

Kudzulicious said...

You've probably received a letter from Perdue because he's got 9 million dollars to do direct mail.

Mark and CC spent 5 million battling each other.

Take my word for it...Mark would like to send every voter in Georgia a nice fuzzy letter. But, that costs money. Dollars. He's spending time now raising money. He wouldn't be so far behind Sonny if the Democrats hadn't spent that 5 million in the Primary.

Don't blame Mark if you haven't gotten a letter from him. Blame an unnecessary primary that wasted alot of Democratic dollars.

From me to you: Mark would like your support. Please call the campaign (http://www.marktaylor) and contribute and/or let them know how you'd like to help.

decaturguy said...

The problem is that Mark Taylor spent the primary campaign trying to sound like a conservative general election candidate. This might have worked and helped him win the primary, but in alienated at least 40% of traditional Democratic voters in the process. He should have used the primary to solidify his Democratic voting base so that he would have the standing to go out and try to woo independents and conservatives. But he still has a lot of work to do just to get Democrats excited about his campaign, much less everyone else.

And with the election 11 weeks away, that is an ominous sign.

Button Gwinnett said...

If 19% of Dems are polling for Perdue right now, that's not her fault. After all, look at the percentages of African-Americans polled. That was a constituency mostly for Taylor, not Cox. My guess is this isn't as much of a "Cox" issue (convenient scapegoat that she may be) as it is a leadership issue. Regardless of what's being done, efforts will have to be stepped up.

From the tone of virtually all your posts, you obviously haven't forgotten the primary this summer. So if others haven't either, I don't think you should be the one wagging the finger. I'm guessing that over half of the Cox power structure has already joined the fold. After all, she asked them to. For all the "sour grapes" blogs of the past few weeks, I'm not sure what else she's supposed to do at this point.

If Cox had won, I can't imagine things would be much different right now. That's the price that must be paid when you engage in a negative campaign the way that both Cathy and Mark did.

And btw, Mark already has a nice little check from me. And he'll probably be getting some of my time via the Gwinnett Democratic Party festival, phone banking, and canvassing efforts in the fall. I've also volunteered with DPG to pass out materials at select UGA football games. For what little good it might do, I've already used my blog on 6 or 7 occasions since July 18th to either remind Dems of the importance to unite and defeat Perdue, or to point out what I believe to be legitimate weaknesses in Perdue's record. I'm on task.

As I was constantly reminded when I complained of campaign tactics during the primary, it's all about winning. Whining about people not doing what you think they should do won't get their votes. Reminding them of why they should support Mark just might. As a Dem, Mark's already got 40% of the vote in the bank. We need to be doing what we can to help him get that extra 6% or so that he's going to need.

Button Gwinnett said...

In case it's not obvious, my previous post was directed towards kudzu.

Amy Morton said...

"Blame an unnecessary primary that wasted..."

This is not the approach that makes me want to write a check.

Fall Line Dem said...

I did not consider the primary "unnecessary". If that were the case 44% of the votes cast would not have been for Cathy Cox. A lot of people believe that Cathy was the better candidate initially, and that she had the better chance to defeat Sonny in November because of her ability to reach out to women and Republicans who are angry at Sonny. The poll results reflect a lot of the concerns that I had about Mark going into the general election. I hope that he can use his campaigning skills to turn those numbers more in his direction.

Ed Hula III said...

A good campaign actually wants fewer people voting in total (hence negative ads, they are designed to keep people home).

It is easier to lead the flock if there are fewer people in it.

Ed Hula III said...

"40% of traditional Democratic voters"
oh you mean the traditioncal conservative Democrats in Georgia (which Mark happens to be).

Were Mark to try and sound anything other than a moderate to conservative Democrat, he would not have been campaigning on his beliefs.

Tina said...

There must be a difference between the candidates and their platforms that is interesting enough to make voters want to go to the polls. We are all political junkies who are aware of each twist and turn in the news. The voter who is NOT a political junkie (but who IS interested in bread & butter issues affecting him/her) must be presented with a platform magnetic enough to pull him/her away from the day's responsibilities and toward the polling place.