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02 September 2010

11Alive Reporter Wonders If Democratic Governors Are Hanging Barnes Out To Dry

Since Nathan Deal clinched the Georgia Republican Party's gubernatorial nomination last month, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) has been quick to demonstrate their unyeilding support for his candidacy.

The formation of a PAC with the State Ethics Commission, two television ads and a website linking Democrat Roy Barnes with the unpopular Barack Obama says the RGA is heavily invested in keeping Georgia's top office in Republican hands.

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA), on the other hand, has done little more than issue a couple press releases congratulating Barnes on his July primary victory. The relative lack of involvement by the DGA in Georgia's 2010 gubernatorial election has at least one reporter questioning if Democrats nationally are hanging Barnes out to dry.

In other states, The DGA is running ads. In Iowa, they're funding third-party commercials to help defeat GOP gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstadt. In Illinois, they're spending millions on ads, and they're creating their own spots in New Mexico.

[11Alive's Jeff]Hullinger asked [Democratic Governors Association spokeswoman Emily]Bittner if there were any plans to put ads in Georgia like the RGA has done.

"We're heavily invested in the state; we've contributed more than a half million dollars," she replied.

Hullinger, Jeff (2010-9-2). Democratic Governors: No Barnes Ads. WXIA-TV. Retrieved on 2010-9-2.

DGA spokesperson Emily Bittner provided Jeff Hullinger with a classic political non-answer answer. Bittner didn't say yes, the DGA would be airing ads in Georgia. She also didn't say no, the DGA would not air any ads in this state. All Bittner said is that the DGA is "very committed" to Barnes; and that, of course, is what any political observer would expect her to say.

So the question remains, will the DGA jump into the Georgia gubernatorial election in a big way similar to that of the RGA?

My guess is the DGA is monitoring the polls, and if the organization believes there's a real chance of a Barnes victory in November, they'll start running some ads. Until then, Barnes is on his own.