Democrats Draw Up Blueprints For Summer Messaging Campaign

Democrats will highlight a specific theme each week of the recess. The first will be the party’s “Make it in America” manufacturing initiative, followed by Social Security, consumer protection, small businesses, troops and veterans, and jobs and the economy. The party is trying to brand its agenda as one centered around “fighting for the middle class.”

The Hill


Kingston endorses Deal for governor

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston has endorsed former House colleague Nathan Deal for governor. “For those who supported Eric Johnson,” Kingston said, “Nathan is the natural fit for the … runoff.”

He praised Deal’s record on taxes, immigration and curbing Medicaid fraud, as well as his “perfect” score from the American Conservative Union

“Kingston is known and trusted in Southeast Georgia and his endorsement carries a lot of weight,” said Deal spokesman Brian Robinson.

It also signals Chatham County and nearby areas Johnson carried that conservatives are re-aligning behind Deal, Robinson said.

Savannah News

This election season has seen a former female vice presidential candidate’s endorsements sway voters and keep two Republican women alive in the race for governor in Georgia and South Carolina.

The Augusta Chronicle – By Susan McCord

Left up to Augusta, there would be no runoff between Karen Handel and Nathan Deal on Aug. 10. Handel carried a swath of 12 counties around metro Augusta resembling the support she had in metro Atlanta, and she got more than 50 percent of Republican primary votes in Richmond, Columbia, Jefferson and Burke counties.

From Augusta’s position on the Savannah River, with Nikki Haley’s victory over Gresham Barrett in the South Carolina Republican primary and Handel’s strong performance Tuesday, it might appear to be “the year of the woman,” or a good year for Republican women at the least.

Augusta Republican Janice McDonald called it that at a Handel rally in Evans, where most in the crowd were women and many were members of Columbia County Republican Women.

“Change for the better” came in the form of female leadership to clean up politics, McDonald said.

Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, compared herself to Haley, California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and governor hopeful Meg Whitman.

“They are business women, they are outsiders, and they’re not career politicians. They are reformers,” Handel said.

Putting the Georgia governor’s race into the national spotlight was Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Handel as the “mama grizzly” of choice for voters, eight days before the primary. Following Palin was Newt Gingrich’s endorsement of Deal; then came Mitt Romney’s Handel endorsement.

Palin’s endorsement of Haley aided the primary runoff “slam dunk” of a candidate who led by a wider margin than Handel in the primary, said University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock.

Palin’s endorsement led to the surge of support for Handel in the week before the primary, particularly outside metro Atlanta, but it remains to be seen whether it will carry Handel to a win in November.

With each victory by a Palin candidate increasing the strength of the brand, Georgia might see its first woman governor, he said.

Women have had greater success running for statewide office in Georgia as Republicans, beginning with trailblazer and former superintendent of schools Linda Schrenko, who was followed by Kathy Cox. Democrat Cathy Cox is the only other woman to hold statewide elected office, that of secretary of state, in Georgia.

In the original “year of the woman,” 1992, women gained several seats in the U.S. Senate and the number has steadily increased. Georgia has had only one, Rebecca Felton, who served for a few months of 1922, and five U.S. congresswomen…

[…Palin’s stance poses a challenge to the Tea Partiers and the larger conservative movement. Is the Right finally serious about limiting government and reducing spending, which must include at least addressing the fact that our now bankrupt country has a larger military budget than every other nation combined, or will conservatives simply revert to the same old, Bush-style, Kristol-approved and Palin-suggested, neocon statism?

Kristol freely admits that he would prefer a pro-war president John Kerry, or Obama, than a figure like Buchanan, Paul or any traditional conservative who might question American foreign policy.

Ann Coulter asks, rightly, “Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney have demanded that Steele resign as head of the RNC for saying Afghanistan is now Obama’s war — and a badly thought-out one at that. (Didn’t liberals warn us that neoconservatives want permanent war?)…

I thought the irreducible requirements of Republicanism were being for life, small government and a strong national defense, but I guess permanent war is on the platter now, too.”

Coulter makes the distinction that Palin and her adviser, Kristol, ignore—that there is a difference between support for a strong national defense and support for nonsensical permanent war…]

SA (Jack Hunter): Is Palin a Neocon Puppet?

The good news? She’s a solid fundraiser, hauling in more than $2.5 million in the second quarter. The bad news? Er, most everything else. Lest you think this is a hit piece by CQ Politics — and given the recent polling trends, you shouldn’t — Matt Lewis tweeted a few hours ago that he’s also hearing grumbling from conservatives about her lackluster campaign.

Weak organization wouldn’t matter much against an incumbent as loathed as Reid, I think, if she were a more conventional candidate. But as a tea-party star with an eye to eliminating Social Security and the Department of Education (positions which have now been quietly revised on the campaign website), her staff has its work cut out for it…]

HotAir (Allahpundit): GOP starting to worry about Angle’s campaign against Reid

How Haley, Sheheen could win in the fall

Haley has the numbers; Sheheen needs swing counties

The State – By JOHN O’CONNOR

Keys to November

The Coast: If Haley sweeps Beaufort, Horry and, most importantly, Charleston counties, it is unlikely Sheheen can win, observers say. Plus for Sheheen? President Barack Obama had a strong showing in Charleston in 2008, and Democrats have worked hard to make gains in the city’s suburbs. Plus for Haley? Both Haley and Sheheen hail from the Midlands, but Charleston donors seem to be leaning to Haley. Haley has kept Gov. Mark Sanford of Sullivan’s Island at arms-length while embracing his former wife, Jenny. Haley could benefit by convincing Sanford’s supporters she is their de facto hometown candidate.

The Upstate: For Sheheen to stay close in the Upstate, his campaign needs to motivate Spartanburg Democrats while seeding doubts about Haley among Greenville’s business community. The question isn’t whether Haley will win the Upstate. The question is: By how much? If Haley wins by a blowout, it’s over. If it’s tight, Sheheen can win.

Swing counties: More than a third of S.C. counties are swing counties, up for grabs. To win, a Democrat must take most. But the influence of the swing counties is waning. Since the last Democrat was elected governor, in 1998, many dependably Republican counties — Beaufort, Horry, Lexington, York — have been growing faster.

Congressional races: If all politics is local, will competitive U.S. House races in the 2nd and 5th districts help one party over the other? Republican primary voters clearly turned out for crowded June primary races in the 1st, 3rd and 4th districts. Meanwhile, Democrats had no similar primary battles to boost their vote numbers. In the 5th District, for example, U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-York, has long attracted moderate Republican and independent voters. Will those voters also vote for Sheheen in November? Or will angry voters throw out Spratt and carry Haley to a win?

Obama voters: Will the 2008 Democratic Primary voters return to the polls two years later? Many of the same staff that built Obama’s 2008 S.C. network are working for Sheheen. But Republican voters are more energized this year. The Tea Party also has shown it can get its members to the polls.

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