The Jolt: Another poll shows Trump’s base in Georgia is eroding

President Donald Trump carried Georgia in 2016 by capturing roughly three-quarters of white voters. Yet another poll shows that pillar of support is eroding.

A CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday shows Trump has lost significant ground since 2016 among white voters since 2016: He’s down 12 percentage points in Georgia from four years ago, fueled by a decline in support from white voters with college degrees.

Among white voters without college degrees, however, Joe Biden continues to struggle. The poll showed him with roughly 22% of the vote, only slightly better than Hillary Clinton did among that bloc in 2016.

Another positive sign for Biden’s campaign: He’s leading among Georgians who didn’t cast ballots in 2016 by 20 percentage points.

Overall, the poll shows the two candidates running roughly even, with Biden at 46% and Trump at 45%. That’s within the 3.4 percent margin of error.

Some other takeaways from the poll:

- A majority of Georgians – 55% - say the state has reopened too quickly. Of those, two-thirds say the state’s government was “under pressure” from the Trump administration.

- U.S. Sen. David Perdue (45%) and Democrat Jon Ossoff (43%) are deadlocked in the poll. About 10% of voters say they’re still undecided.

- Voters are evenly split over Gov. Brian Kemp’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. About two-thirds say the outbreak could be controlled with “effective policy and government action,” including most Democrats and a slim majority of independents.

It’s the latest in a series of polls that show Trump and Biden in razor-thin close contests here - and one reason Josh Putnam, the elections expert over at FHQ Strategies, calls Georgia “the most competitive state on the map right now.”

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On the same note, President Donald Trump’s campaign launched two new ads Monday in Georgia and other states where he’s struggling in the polls. It’s yet another measure of the importance of a state once considered a lock for Republicans.

The ads aim to frame Joe Biden as a “tool being used by the extreme left” and feature the same language Republicans brandish against Democrats in other contests, labeling them socialists and radicals.

Along with Georgia, the ads also are running in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina — all states Trump won four years ago that polls show are slipping from his grip this cycle.

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Over the last few days, we’ve heard plenty about the professional and political side of Herman Cain, the late business executive, radio host and presidential candidate.

Former Cain aide Matt Carrothers, who first met the Republican working on his 2004 bid for U.S. Senate, sent over a touching recollection about his personal side. It includes these words:

Herman was never, ever, “off.” Whether you were a fellow CEO, a hotel doorman or a server at a south Georgia “meat-and-three,” Herman went out of his way to make you feel special. Every time we’d sit down to order, he always went first, then told the server, “And whatever my son here wants - put him on my tab.” The double-take reaction was always priceless, as was Herman’s outburst with perfect comedic timing that followed. And he always overtipped.

Over at Atlantic Magazine, David A. Graham notes how Cain’s skepticism over masks will also help define his legacy.

A key passage:

It’s impossible to say whether Cain contracted the virus at the rally or elsewhere, and aides said he’d been traveling often, but the risk he took in attending the rally seems to exemplify the change in Cain after his entry into politics. Cain was not a stupid man, nor ignorant of science; he was a trained mathematician, after all.

But by 2020, Cain—a man who’d joined the Republican Party out of a sense of contrarianism—was ready to risk his life to show his lockstep conformity with party dogma. At one time, Cain seemed like a model of how an individual can live the American dream. Today, he seems like a cautionary tale about how an individual can be destroyed by American politics.

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U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler is bolstering her campaign’s ground forces. Chris Allen, a former aide to Gov. Brian Kemp, was hired as statewide field director to lead a team of 30 staffers and interns.

The campaign has opened a field office in Athens and claims making more than 600,000 calls to voters and another 400,000 text messages. Staffers have also sent about 5,000 postcards to voters.

She’s facing 20 other candidates in the November special election, including a fierce challenge from fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins.

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On another note, Sen. Kelly Loeffler lashed out after our weekend report of her interview with One America News Network host Jack Posobiec, whose ties to Nazism and white supremacy have been tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

Newsweek and Yahoo published reports about Loeffler’s interview as well.

She still hasn’t said whether she knew about Posobiec’s social media posts, which include targeting Jewish and Muslim people, before she sat for the interview and then promoted it on her social media accounts. Instead, she downplayed the story by criticizing the SPLC, saying it has become too left-leaning in recent years.

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Georgia has a hate-crimes law on the books now, but family and friends of victims of recent high-profile incidents told the AJC’s Maya T. Prabhu that it doesn’t ease their pain.

From Prabhu’s report:

At least a dozen lawmakers invoked Arbery’s name while discussing, debating and celebrating passage of the legislation, House Bill 426.

“The Ahmaud Arbery death will not be in vain,” state Rep. Calvin Smyre, a Columbus Democrat, said when the bill was signed.

Still, it’s barely a consolation prize, (Arbery’s mother, Wanda) Cooper-Jones said.

“I am glad that Ahmaud is going to be part of the movement of change,” she said.

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A Republican congressman from Alabama says that Georgia Sen. David Perdue must identify and fire the campaign staffer responsible for that criticized ad that made rival Jon Ossoff’s nose appear larger.

Perdue’s campaign said it has cut ties with the digital firm that made the ad, but has not disclosed its name.

“Some things are insidious,” U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks wrote on twitter last week. “Whoever in U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s (R, GA) campaign digitally enlarged the nose of his Jewish opponent in campaign ads SHOULD BE OUTED, FIRED & NEVER REHIRED BY ANY CAMPAIGN, ANYWHERE.

This religious bigotry is INTOLERABLE!”

Brooks is considered one of the House’s most conservative members. Last year, he faced criticism after quoting Adolf Hitler on the House floor in a speech criticizing attacks on President Trump.

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Seventh District congressional candidate Nabilah Islam.

Former congressional candidate Nabilah Islam has joined the Matriarch PAC, which aims to get progressive women elected to Congress, as its national organizing director. Islam, who placed third in the Democratic primary in the 7th District, also recently launched a political organization focused on helping progressive candidates win office.

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