Very likely, this morning's Landmark/Rosetta Stone poll will be the last Georgia numbers you see in the 2016 campaign – until the ones that count begin to flow in on Tuesday.
-- Republican Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson, 49 to 46 to 3 percent;
-- In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson leads Democrat Jim Barksdale and Libertarian Allen Buckley, 52 to 41 to 3 percent.
At only two points above 50 percent, the poll gives Isakson his highest number of the general election season. Even so, a runoff – a situation in which Isakson fails to gain half the vote – is still within the margin of error.
From the press release:
“The share of voters who say they will vote for a Libertarian candidate has declined over the final days of the election, with some of those voters choosing between the candidates with a realistic chance to win. Both Trump and Senator Isakson will benefit from that,” said Mark Rountree, President of Landmark Communications, Inc. “Once the remaining few undecided voters make their choice, Trump will have a shot of crossing the 50% mark in Georgia, and barring major last minute changes, Senator Isakson should win without a runoff.”
“Self described independent voters in Georgia have been volatile, but appear to be moving toward Trump in the closing days of the election,” said John Garst, President of Rosetta Stone Communications. “Independent voters are giving Trump 50% of their vote, with 38% to Hillary Clinton.”
Debbie Dooley, the Gwinnett County tea partyer and Donald Trump advocate, gives a lukewarm nod to Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson in the U.S. Senate race this morning. But we'll bet he'll take it:
I disagree with Sen. Isakson on some issues as many of you do and I am not exactly thrilled that he is our only real choice, but he is. Sen. Isakson criticized Donald Trump for some of his statements, but he never at one time said he wouldn't vote for Trump. I am confident that he will fight to confirm Justices nominated by Trump... At this point, that is what matters...He will also vote with us on 80% of the issues we care about like repealing ObamaCare..
NBC reports that former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich is being considered for secretary of state in a Donald Trump administration. Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, would be Trump’s chief of staff. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may be left in the cold.
Democrat Jim Barksdale might be thinking one out of two ain't bad.
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter backed his U.S. Senate bid on Sunday, one of a handful of high-profile Georgia Democrats who have endorsed his campaign. But former President Jimmy Carter has stayed silent on the race, apparently sitting this round out.
"Jim's a man of integrity who cares deeply for his community, Georgia, and the United States of America," said Mrs. Carter. "Most importantly, he has a profound sense of personal responsibility to build a better world for the next generation."
Until this weekend, only a handful of newspapers had publicly backed Donald Trump's campaign - including the National Enquirer and the official organ of the Ku Klux Klan. They have some backup now after the Augusta-based Morris Communications - which owns newspapers in Athens, Augusta, Jacksonville and Savannah (and Alaska) - endorsed the Republican. From a letter by Will Morris IV, the company's chief executive:
Many newspapers throughout the country have chosen not to make endorsements this year due to the mercurial candidates. I believe that it is a mistake, and it is our responsibility to have the courage to voice an opinion and to lead civil discourse.
Apparently, each newspaper's editorial board was responsible for making its own case. From the Florida Times-Union:
America needs a major shake-up. There is only one presidential candidate with the will and ability to do it.
Donald Trump, despite all of his faults, is best suited to blow up the inbred corruption of the Washington-New York elites.
While this is anything but a comfortable call, it is in keeping with the Times-Union’s center-right tradition and with the conservative Republican philosophy of our family ownership.