Friday, July 10, 2009
Until the primary is complete, The Morning Line will deal only with the primary races. All odds are based on the candidates ability to win their own party's nomination. And remember children - gambling is illegal and all information is for entertainment purposes only.
The Republicans are tight. Of course, these are the types of races where any good bookie rakes in the dough.
John Oxendine (5-1):
Positives - High name recognition, consistently high vote totals in previous elections
Negatives - Prone to odd campaign decisions and gaffes
How do you not make John Oxendine the favorite? Everyone wants to discount his candidacy but he consistently polls at number 1. Despite a donation snafu that resulted in an AJC investigative piece, despite having to give that money back, despite Democrats crowing about how many cars he's crashed, despite weird Snopes quality emails, Oxendine keeps coming out on top in polls. Time will tell if the continuous storm of taint will eventually drag his numbers down.
Nathan Deal (6-1):
Positives - Access to a congressional level donation network
Negatives - Does anybody outside the mountains really know him?
If the odds had been released prior to the quarterly financial statements, Deal's numbers would have been much longer. But his astonishing total of over $1 million cash on hand moves him past horses played more prominently in the early tip sheets. It shows the power a sitting Congressman can wield in the money game. Now, Deal (who is a better campaigner than most people think) has to hit the road and introduce himself to the rest of Georgia.
Karen Handel (7-1):
Positives - High name recognition, Perdue's infrastructure
Negatives - Very polarizing for a Secretary of State
Early tip sheets had Handel as a favorite but her rather anemic fundraising in the 2nd quarter dampens the enthusiasm. Certainly, she was hampered in ways others weren't (i.e. unable to transfer money from other campaign war chests, didn't make a personal loan to the campaign) but the image problem remains. Handel has to move past any impression that she is not a serious player. But Madame Secretary has proved in the past that she does not mind baring the knuckles and it is doubtful anyone is underestimating her.
Eric Johnson (8-1):
Positives - Gobs of money
Negatives - Temperment may be better suited to the state house
Another horse moving up due to the just arrived fund raising numbers. That Johnson outraised Handel may be the surprise of the early campaign season. Part of this is explained by his transferring money over from his now defunct Lt. Governor race but the public will only see the big number. It will keep Johnson's name in the limelight of the front runners. But publicity is a two edged sword. Johnson can be prickly and it may only be a matter of time before he publicly snaps at someone.
Austin Scott (15-1):
Positives - Playing the populist card
Negatives - Already resorting to stunts
Florida had Walkin' Lawton and we have Amblin' Austin. Scott plans to walk a thousand miles through Georgia. It worked for Lawton in the prehistoric days before the internet but in 2010, it's about a half step above smoke stack sitting. Scott has a future in the state, but not this time.
Ray McBerry (100-1):
Positives - Can't do much harm
Negatives - Bobby Franklin, The Constitution Party and a boat load of crazy
Ray McBerry has more in common with the lunatic/theocratic Constitution Party than the Republican Party. Georgia may be backwards but we ain't that backwards. But we should get some good sideshows out of him.