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25 May 2010

Barnes Goes Up On TV, But Trails GOP Opponents

Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes made history in 2002, when he became the first Democrat not re-elected to the Peach State's top job in over a century. Eight years after his defeat at the hands of Democrat-turned-Republican Sonny Perdue, Barnes is attempting a political comeback which has the potential to breathe new life into a moribund Georgia Democratic Party.

By every measure of political strength, Barnes is the front runner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Most polls show the former governor way ahead of his competitors in the Democratic primary. An April Insider Advantage poll puts Barnes on the brink of winning the nomination without a run off [New IA Poll: Georgia Democratic governor's race. Southern Political Report. Retrieved on 2010-5-25.]. In terms of campaign cash, Barnes is rolling in the dough. His latest campaign finance disclosure showed over $900,000 raised between January 1st and March 31st, bringing Barnes' fundraising totals to $3.6 million with $2.8 million left in the bank [SOURCE: Georgia State Ethics Commission]. And just last week, Barnes picked up the support of the state AFL-CIO [Galloway, Jim (2010-5-20).  Roy Barnes picks up state AFL-CIO endorsement. Political Insider (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Retrieved on 2010-5-25.].

Flush with cash and a big endorsement, Barnes has gone up on t.v. with three separate ads airing across the state. Here's the latest campaign spot that started appearing on stations in the Atlanta media market:



Still, Barnes trails the top GOP gubernatorial candidates despite his success in the Democratic field.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows the former Georgia governor leading just one Republican hopeful in hypothetical match-ups.


Roy Barnes (D)39%
John Oxendine (R)43%
Some Other Candidate11%
Not Sure7%


Roy Barnes (D)40%
Nathan Deal (R)47%
Some Other Candidate6%
Not Sure7%

Roy Barnes (D)39%
Karen Handel (R)42%
Some Other Candidate9%
Not Sure10%

Roy Barnes (D)42%
Eric Johnson (R)38%
Some Other Candidate9%
Not Sure11%

[SOURCE: Rasmussen Reports]

The Georgia GOP primary race has been dominated by the question of who is best positioned to take on Roy Barnes in November. The latest poll shows a high number of undecideds --39%-- among Republican primary voters [Reese, Gary (2010-5-19). Oxendine still leads Georgia GOP governor's race. Southern Political Report. Retrieved on 2010-5-25.].

The Georgia Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for July 20th. Former Gov. Roy Barnes is competing against six other Democrats, including Attorney General Thurbert Baker and former Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard David Poythress, for his party's nomination. Should no candidate receive 50% plus one in the primary, a run-off will be held August 10th.

CQ Politics rates the Georgia gubernatorial race as "leans Republican."