Here are some takeaways:
A bad night for former President Donald Trump. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, considered a rising GOP figure, spent much of his campaign trying to tie Beshear to Biden’s low approval ratings — while wholeheartedly embracing Trump in the final stretch of the race. His defeat stung Republicans in a state that backed Trump over Biden by 26 percentage points in 2020.
Meanwhile, other Republicans who steered clear of Trump in Kentucky fared better. Secretary of State Michael Adams, who rejected Trump’s election fraud lies, breezed to another term.
“Donald Trump is political and electoral poison down-ballot,” former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, now a presidential contender, said of the results on CNN, describing Cameron’s embrace of Trump as a “huge mistake.”
Credit: Kareem Elgazzar via AP
Credit: Kareem Elgazzar via AP
A suburban surge? The suburbs turned out huge for Democrats and their causes. Strong turnout in the bedroom communities surrounding Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus helped enshrine protections for abortion in Ohio, while Beshear’s win in Kentucky was powered in part by suburban voters.
Georgia fallout. Democrats in Georgia found reason to celebrate the victories — and said the wins could form a playbook for 2024. State Rep. Ruwa Romman, a Duluth Democrat, said the results show the need for new investment in voter turnout initiatives. Hillary Holley, a prominent activist, said abortion will continue to energize liberal and swing voters.
“Last night, voters across the country decided to reject anti-abortion extremism and right-wing money because they know that Democrats stand with working families and are fighting for them,” she told us. “And we will see this happen in Georgia in 2024.”
Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP
Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP
BATTLEGROUND GEORGIA. The latest AJC poll of likely Georgia voters is out and shows an evenly divided electorate one year out from the 2024 election. In a presidential race matching President Joe Biden, a Democrat, against former President Donald Trump, a Republican, the two are virtually deadlocked, with Trump holding a one percentage point advantage.
The poll’s margin of error is 3.1%.
The survey of 1,002 Georgians, conducted Oct. 26 to Nov. 3 by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs Survey Research Center, also offers insights on how Georgia voters feel about the economy, the Israel-Hamas war and the job performance of Congress.
GEORGIA RESULTS. Closer to home, there were municipal elections across Georgia on Tuesday.
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson easily won reelection with 77% of the vote. Derek Norton was reelected mayor of Smyrna, while voters gave Jazzmin Cobble another term in Stonecrest.
Voters in DeKalb extended two special purpose sales taxes. And most incumbents led in Atlanta school board races.
At the beach on Tybee Island, a bid by community activist Julia Pearce to become the city’s first Black mayor failed. She finished third in a three-way race won by former city council member Brian West.
Full results are available on AJC.com.
LISTEN UP. With the 2023 elections now over, full focus turns to 2024 and the presidential campaigns of the front-runners, Democratic President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, a Republican.
Former Republican U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an outspoken Trump critic, joins the “Politically Georgia” radio show for Wednesday’s edition to talk about the threat posed by Trump’s comeback bid as chronicled in his new book titled “Renegade, Defending Democracy and Liberty in our Divided Country.”
Also, on Tuesday’s episode, now available as a podcast, the “Politically Georgia” team talked with Republican strategist Stephen Lawson about issues that could make a difference in the 2024 vote.
Listen and subscribe to our podcast for free at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play or wherever you listen to podcasts.
DEBATE NIGHT. The third GOP debate is tonight in Miami, and the AJC is there to cover every twist and turn.
Back in Atlanta, a presidential contender who didn’t make the shrinking stage plans to hold court at Park Bench Battery.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is set to join a “candid with the candidates” event hosted by the Atlanta Young Republicans at 6 p.m. When he wraps up, the group will hold a debate watch party.
Hutchison often highlights his Georgia ties on the campaign trail, since his wife was born and raised in the Atlanta area.
TLAIB CENSURED. Georgia U.S. House Rep. Rich McCormick’s bid to formally discipline Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, for her comments about Israel succeeded Tuesday in a bipartisan censure vote.
Twenty-two Democrats voted with the majority of Republicans in favor of reprimanding Tlaib for her rhetoric about the Israel-Hamas war, which they deemed antisemitic. Four Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the measure, largely due to concerns about limiting free speech. No one from Georgia’s delegation crossed party lines.
But the censure of Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress, led to new infighting within the Republican conference.
House members chose to support McCormick’s censure resolution instead of a similar measure introduced by fellow Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene. McCormick, a Suwanee resident, and 22 other GOP lawmakers opposed Greene’s legislation because it included language alleging Tlaib is an insurrectionist.
Greene withdrew her censure motion late Tuesday and blamed House GOP leaders, all the way up to Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana, for helping McCormick circumvent her efforts.
“It’s not about Rich McCormick. Nobody cares about Rich McCormick,” Greene, R-Rome, said as she headed into that vote. “Most people have no idea that he’s even doing this. Most people think it’s my resolution. But he’s only doing it because he got his ego bruised, because he got called out and people were mad at him last week. So to me, it’s not about Rich McCormick at all. It’s a failure of our leadership to organize this process — the communication within the conference — and that’s what I’m refusing to be a part of.”
Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC
Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC
ANTISEMITISM RESOLUTION. At the same time U.S. Rep. Rich McCormick of Suwanee and other Georgia Republican lawmakers were leading efforts to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the state committee of the Georgia Republican Party adopted a resolution condemning antisemitism “in the strongest possible terms.”
In a news release sent Tuesday, party chairman Josh McKoon said, “Republicans have long stood against antisemitism, but it was important to the delegates at our State Convention in June and our State Committee to formally condemn this sick ideology which seems to have infiltrated some of America’s leading universities. We wanted to leave no doubt that as far as Georgia Republicans are concerned, anti-semitism is absolutely unacceptable.”
‘SERIOUS THREATS.’ U.S. Rep. Rich McCormick sent staff in his Cumming office home Tuesday after it was targeted by “serious threats of violence.”
McCormick, a first-term Republican who lives in Suwanee, wrote on social media the threats were reported to U.S. Capitol Police, which has jurisdiction over members in Washington, D.C., and their district offices.
A spokeswoman for McCormick declined to share details about the threats and whether they referenced any of his recent work at the Capitol.
Supporters of U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, and Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, have criticized McCormick over his efforts to censure Tlaib. It’s unclear whether the threats to his office are related.
The incident occurred on the same day that an Atlanta man carrying a long gun was arrested near the U.S. Capitol.
TODAY IN WASHINGTON:
- President Joe Biden has no public events scheduled.
- First Lady Jill Biden visits Augusta for an event championing workforce development initiatives.
- The U.S. House continues work on appropriations legislation.
- House Republicans could vote on a new caucus vice chair. Rep. Mike Collins, R-Jackson, is among the candidates.
- The U.S. Senate votes on confirmations.
ATHENS DA REPRIMANDED. A Superior Court judge on Monday ruled that Athens-Clarke County District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez had violated Marsy’s Law, which protects the rights of crime victims, in a recent prosecution of a man charged in the death of a bicyclist.
The ruling marks the second Marsy’s Law violation for Gonzalez this year. According to the Athens Banner-Herald, the district attorney admitted in June to a Marsy’s Law violation in a rape and child molestation case.
Monday’s reprimand has already led to speculation that Gonzalez will soon be the subject of a complaint filed with the newly created Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission. The panel was established earlier this year under GOP-led legislation in the Georgia General Assembly and has the authority to investigate district attorneys for misconduct.
Gonzalez was cited by Republican lawmakers for perceived shortcomings during the crafting of the law.
DOG OF THE DAY. All political junkies appreciate authenticity, and we are no different. So it’s time to meet Abby Ruby.
Abby is the long-legged, tall-sitting, 100% poodle who calls Jolt subscriber Bob Ruby her person. In a world full of “Doodles,” “Snoodles,” and partially portioned poodles, Abby, you’re the real deal. And you’re our Dog of the Day!
Send us your dogs of any political persuasion and location, and cats on a cat-by-cat basis, to email@example.com, or DM us at @MurphyAJC.
AS ALWAYS, Jolt readers are some of our favorite tipsters. Send your best scoop, gossip and insider info to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.