When the Republican presidential campaigns got together last night outside Washington to talk about their frustrations with the debates, a pecking order emerged: Don't cross Fox News, but to hell with the Republican National Committee.
From the Washington Post:
One campaign manager, speaking about the private meeting on the condition of anonymity, wrote: “Major question is if the RNC should be involved at all.”
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The campaigns reached an early consensus on one issue, according to several operatives in the room: the secure standing of Fox News Channel. Any changes would be applied to debates after next week’s Fox Business Network debate. Among the reasons, according to one operative in the room, was that “people are afraid to make Roger [Ailes] mad,” a reference to the network’s chief.
Bush campaign manager Danny Diaz recommended that Telemundo be reinstated after being dropped along with NBC. But the campaign of businessman Donald Trump, represented by manager Corey Lewandowski, threatened to boycott a debate if the Spanish-language network that Trump has clashed with was granted one.
Any changes are not expected until after the next debate, Nov. 10 in Milwaukee. It helps that Fox Business Network is airing that one, and already joining the CNBC pile-on.
"CNBC never asked the real questions, never covered the real issues," a narrator says in a Fox Business ad promoting the debate.
We make some caveats further down, but 11 Alive and Survey USA have paired for a statewide poll that includes these highlights:
-- GOP presidential candidate and billionaire Donald Trump leads retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 35 to 28 percent in Georgia;
-- 74 percent of registered and likely GOP voters say they would stick with Trump if he’s the nominee;
-- Democrat and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton leads U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 73 to 16 percent, among likely Democratic voters;
-- In a Trump-Clinton match-up, Trump currently polls 46 percent to 37 percent for Clinton;
-- 54 percent of likely voters say casino gambling should be legalized;
-- Georgia voters are split over whether the Confederate battle flag should be flown on public property – i.e., Stone Mountain Park. Forty-four percent say yes, and 45 percent say no;
-- Fifty-five percent of voters say race relations have gotten worse over the last eight years. There’s not much disparity among black and white voters, but Republicans are slightly more pessimistic than Democrats.
All polls need to be taken with a grain of salt, but one aspect of this survey stands out: Data used was collected between Oct. 15 and Oct. 26. Eleven days is a long time when polling moving targets. It also means much of the survey was conducted before Hillary Clinton’s appearance before the special Benghazi congressional committee. And most of it was done before last week’s GOP presidential debate.
Also, there’s this paragraph:
Respondents reachable on a home telephone (68% of registered voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (32% of registered voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.
One day before the special election to elect a replacement for state Rep. Ben Harbin, a Colombia County Superior Court judge will hear a request for a restraining order aimed at one of the candidates.
Augusta talk radio guru Austin Rhodes wants Joe Mullins and his friends to stop talking trash about his “motives for his position as to the candidacy of Joe Mullins.”
A hearing is scheduled for this morning.
Mullins, a local entertainment promoter, is one of four candidates in the contest. Others are Mack Taylor, a former Columbia County commissioner; Pat Goodwin, former county GOP chair; and businesswoman Jodi Lott.
It's worth watching Dana Carvey, he of the riotous George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot impressions on Saturday Night Live in 1992, do Trump:
In your SEC Primary news, Mike Huckabee will file for the ballot in his home state of Arkansas today. And Ohio Gov. John Kasich will file in Alabama -- where he has the endorsement of the governor -- on Tuesday.
And you should bookmark this handy SEC Primary guide from our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin.
We told you recently how Georgia's own Rep. Tom Price will have the ear of new Speaker Paul Ryan. In a story about Ryan's lobbyist relationships, Politico points to another Atlanta institution -- Home Depot: "Ryan maintains friendships with Kent Knutson of Home Depot and his wife, Karen Knutson of General Electric."
Gov. Nathan Deal might be lacing his speeches with the kicker that "Georgia is the No. 1 place in which to do business" for another year. We're picking up word that Site Selection Magazine will award Georgia another accolade.
You may remember the niche publication from Deal's stump speeches last year. The Atlanta-based magazine named Georgia the top place to do business and the most competitive state in the nation in 2013.
But Deal has long pitched the honor, as well as similar accolades from other media outlets, as a marketing tool to lure Fortune 500 companies and manufacturing facilities.
Former Rep. Jack Kingston lassoed his former political rival into a fundraising fete later this month. Sen. David Perdue will host a cocktail reception on Nov. 23 to raise cash for the Georgia GOP.
Ex-President Jimmy Carter is in Memphis today. Our AJC colleague Jill Vejnoska explains why:
Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn will help out on a Habitat for Humanity project Monday in Memphis. The one-day build partnering them with a local family and volunteers is in lieu of a bigger Habitat building project in Nepal that was abruptly cancelled last month.
The 32nd annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project had been scheduled to begin on Sunday in the Chitwan District of Nepal. The six-day event would have built 100 homes in an area of the country that was particularly devastated by the the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the poor, landlocked country last spring.