With four weeks left, Nathan Deal launches bruising TV attack on Jason Carter

You'll have to forgive Jason Carter if he's sporting a bruise or two today. With a mere four weeks to go before the final ballots are cast, Gov. Nathan Deal and his friends are unloading on him.

The Republican incumbent's latest attack ad is as strong as the volley of TV spots funded by his outside supporters -- so tough that the Deal campaign hasn't made it available on YouTube. It calls Democrat Jason Carter a "silver-tongued politician" with a "gift of gab."

You can find the spot by clicking here.

This year's state budget, as approved by the Legislature, was $20.8 billion. We asked Deal's campaign how it arrived at the $12.5 billion price tag -- which would amount to an improbable 60 percent increase.

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the campaign calculated it would cost $1 billion a year over 10 years to meet fully fund the education formula. It also estimated that expanding Georgia's Medicaid program would cost $2.5 billion at a minimum. Robinson said the $12.5 billion figure was a "low-ball estimate for his big promises."

Carter, who has pledged not to raise taxes, hasn't detailed how much new funding he wants to go to the K-12 system, but he has repeatedly said he would push for a significant increase. He also hasn't outlined how he would expand Medicaid, though he said he would explore an Arkansas-style option that uses federal funds to buy private insurance for the poor.

Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas said Deal "is apparently as bad at math as he is at governing this state."

"Gov. Deal knows voters aren't buying what he's selling, so he's resorting to obviously false attacks. Talk about dishonest and untrustworthy."

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The mailer is the work of the American Comeback Committee, an offshoot of the Republican Governors Association.

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We have reached the reflexive name-calling stage in the race for U.S. Senate. Blonde jokes may be next. Consider this clip from Sunday's "Georgia Gang" on WAGA-TV:

In case you didn't catch that, the dialogue went something like this:

Phil Kent: You know what’s a disgrace about this female airhead, Michelle Nunn?

Dick Williams: She isn’t an airhead.

Kent: She is, and I’m going to tell you why.

Williams: She’s a wily, cunning liberal.

Kent: On foreign policy, she has no position on the Mideast and Israel. She has no position on a two-state solution with the Palestinian and Israelis. I think this goes way over her head…

Tharon Johnson: Phil, Phil. You should take that back. You should apologize.

Kent: I refuse to.

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Emory University political scientist Merle Black says the 2005 "outsourcing" deposition now coming to light is something for Republican David Perdue to worry about. From Lori Geary and Channel 2 Action News:

Channel 2 Action News Investigates

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In a Wall Street Journal piece on African-American turnout in Georgia, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed chides Michelle Nunn, whom he supports, for not heeding him on the topic of voter registration:

In Georgia, about half a million fewer black voters participated in the 2010 midterm than in the 2012 election, according to a memo from Ms. Nunn’s campaign. One of her most prominent African-American supporters, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, faulted her for not spending enough money on outreach.

“I believe a great investment in voter contact and registration in the black community is necessary, and I’m not seeing that,” Mr. Reed said.

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The David Perdue camp sent along the accompanying photo of a Nunn supporter, taken at Saturday's Georgia National Fair Parade in Perry, as evidence that Nunn must rely on her Inman Park base to rally the troops in Middle Georgia. They also note that Perdue marched in the parade while Nunn herself did not.

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The Rome News-Tribune reports that Floyd County will take a stab at Sunday voting this month:

Elections officials said early voting will occur from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, at the Floyd County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave.

“It’s just another opportunity to get people out and vote,” said Alvin Jackson, a founding member of 100 Black Men, who spearheaded the push for the extra day in Floyd County.,,,

Layla Shipman, Floyd County Republican Party chairman, said Sunday voting gives no benefit to either party. Her concern is how much more money it’ll cost to have the additional day.

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In a robocall presumably aimed at Atlanta households, the Rev. Joseph Lowery is urging people to celebrate his 93rd birthday today by registering to vote:

The civil rights icon tells folks he wants nothing more today, his 93rd birthday, than for them to register. Today also happens to be the last day residents can register to vote.

"Let's remember that no gift is greater than the right to vote. Help me celebrate my birthday this year by making sure  that you and your loved ones register to vote by the Monday deadline."

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The governor's race is tied and Republican David Perdue maintains a small lead for U.S. Senate, according to a Morris News/WAGA poll by InsiderAdvantage, released Friday.

The results: Nathan Deal 43.7 percent, Jason Carter 43.4 percent, Andrew Hunt 4 percent; David Perdue 47 percent, Michelle Nunn 43 percent, Amanda Swafford 3 percent.

The poll is a mix of online surveys and robo-calls, with a 3.2 percent margin of error, conducted Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. It estimates African-American voters making up 33 percent of the electorate -- well ahead of most projections, as they officially comprised 30 percent in 2012 and 28 percent in 2010.

The New York Times/CBS/YouGov Battleground Tracker shows a similar Perdue advantage. It has the Republican bringing in 44 percent, to Nunn's 40 percent and Swafford's 2 percent.

The online poll was conducted Sept. 20 through Oct. 1 and estimates African-Americans to make up 27.7 percent of the electorate. Here's more on its methodology. It did not poll the governor's race.

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The National Rifle Association has dumped about $290,000 into TV ads attacking Democrat Michelle Nunn in the Senate race, according to a new FEC filing. If you catch the spot, please send it our way.

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Someone with Republican leanings is making mischief in the Senate and governor's races, taking advantage of new Internet domains.

Www.nunn.democrat takes visitors to a Hamas Twitter feed -- mirroring the controversial David Perdue attack on the Democrat. Www.jasoncarter.democrat leads to a "Campaign Insider Action Center" that poses as a fake supporter site for the "liberal Democrat" with talking points like "Most voters aren’t informed enough about state government to know the budget facts."

With a little work and seed money for Google ads, these types of attacks could become potent and subversive.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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