The Jolt: Why an anti-abortion message in Atlanta’s suburbs is a risky proposition

On Saturday, President Donald Trump is expected to name his choice to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Anti-abortion advocates are anticipating a nominee willing to overturn or severely constrict Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that guarantees the right to the procedure. Though overturning the decision is a long-term goal of social conservatives, an overtly anti-Roe nominee could have consequences for Republicans, even in Georgia.

Polling released this morning by NARAL Pro Choice America -- and snagged by our AJC colleague Maya T. Prabhu -- found that 78% of women voters who live in Atlanta’s suburbs support legal access to abortion, including 45% of women who identified as Republican. Twenty percent believed abortion is wrong and should be illegal.

Half of women surveyed lived outside the city of Atlanta in Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett or DeKalb counties. The other half lived in exurban counties such as Paulding, Henry and Forsyth. Of women surveyed, 46% identified as Democrats, 34% were Republicans and 20% were Independents.

About two-thirds of women surveyed, 65%, said they oppose the law Gov. Brian Kemp signed last year that would outlaw most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. A federal judge ruled the law unconstitutional and has blocked it from taking effect. Kemp is appealing the ruling.

The poll of 1,722 female voters in the suburban Atlanta media market, conducted online by Change Research, comes with a MOE of +/-3.4 percentage points – a couple of other caveats.

First, there’s no indication that the women surveyed were “likely” voters – a screen that makes a difference this deep into an election season. Secondly, the poll was conducted Aug. 22-26, three weeks before Ginsburg’s death. And so the political impact of the justice’s passing remains something of a cipher in this survey.


President Donald Trump is set to arrive in metro Atlanta early this afternoon to court Black voters as his campaign plays defense in a state where polls show he’s deadlocked with Democrat Joe Biden:

The latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows only 5% of Black voters said they would support him, while 85% back Biden. About 8% of Black voters remain undecided.

An overwhelming 87% of Black voters feel that Biden will do a better job of addressing America's racial disparities.

“I think it's a fool's errand," former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said Thursday of Trump's visit, adding that the president's record has been one of failure on issues ranging from the coronavirus to racial justice. “I hope what he takes away from the state of Georgia tomorrow is that he's no longer welcome here."

The president is set to touch down at Dobbins Air Reserve Base at 2 p.m. and then will head to the Cobb Galleria Centre. He’s set to depart from Dobbins around 4 p.m.

Keep your eyes on the Republicans who will and won’t be there to greet him.


For two straight days, President Donald Trump has declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November vote. The question is whether today will make three days.

The president’s remarks prompted an unusual move in the U.S. Senate on Thursday: a unanimous vote led by Republicans to symbolically pledge an orderly transition after the election.

U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who is in a tight race against Democrat Jon Ossoff in his bid for a second term, said he trusts voters to make the “decision that is best for all of us.”

“Of course, we will respect the outcome and there will be a peaceful transition,” he said.

Through a spokesman, U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler said her top priority is a “free and fair election” -- and that she understands the need for vigilance to prevent election fraud. “The winner of this presidential election, which Senator Loeffler believes will be President Trump, will be inaugurated on January 20th,” he said.

Then there’s this from Senate candidate Doug Collins' aide:

“Since the president's election, the left has tried to change the votes of Electoral College electors, invoke the 25th Amendment, conducted a sham impeachment and they are currently looking to use mail-in ballots and other chicanery to steal this election outright. You are asking the wrong side about accepting election results."

Point of information: These are the terms laid out for the removal of a president under the 25th Amendment:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office…

In other words, the action must come from within a president’s administration – not from Democrats on the outside. If there’s any attempted invoking, it would be within the Republican camp.


On one hand, this is unquestionably a good thing for the Rev. Raphael Warnock: Former President Barack Obama on Friday endorsed his U.S. Senate campaign, becoming the latest Democrat to rally behind the pastor’s challenge to U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler as pressure mounts on his same-party rivals to drop out of the free-for-all race.


On the other, Warnock’s ground game needs work. The Fetch Your News team attended his event in Stephens County late Thursday and recorded him refusing to answer questions. FYN’s Brian Pritchard was attempting to ask the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church about something Fox News had highlighted -- his sermons in the aftermath of Black men killed by police.

The candidate may not like the question, but he needs to be able to answer it. Footage of him physically dodging a reporter will now become B-roll content in every attack ad aimed at him.


Who-ish Democrats? Today’s print version of the AJC carries reports on the many efforts among Democratic leaders to convince Democrat Matt Leiberman to drop his bid against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and endorse Rev. Raphael Warnock as a way to unite Democrats behind a single candidate.

One effort is an ad planned to run in the Atlanta Jewish Times before Election Day with the names of more than 300 Jewish Democrats supporting Warnock, most of whom Lieberman said he does not know and has never met.

“They were good enough to show me the list, and I probably recognize 10% of the names,” Lieberman said in an interview Thursday. “There are about 150,000 Jews in Georgia. And at the end of the day I’m confident that I will win a majority of those because they will find that my candidacy is speaking most directly to their priorities and values.”

He also raised a sensitive subject for all Democrats in defending his right to stay in the race-- voter suppression.

“One of the reasons I am staying in, in addition to knowing that I can win, is that it isn’t democracy,” he said. “Just as we shouldn’t suppress voters from voting, we shouldn’t get in the practice of suppressing citizens who want to be candidates and want to serve their fellow Georgians.”


President Joe Biden has pledged to select a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court if he is elected -- and ever gets the chance. On the short list of potential nominees, according to Axios: a federal district judge in middle Georgia who happens to be Stacey Abrams' sister, Leslie Abrams Gardner.


Consider the burden of campaigning as one of the lesser-known 20 candidates campaigning to replace U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler. How do you do it? You band together, hoping you form a critical mass worthy of media attention.

On Tuesday, six candidates will participate in a five-city bus tour across Georgia, hitting Augusta, Savannah, Macon, Columbus, and Albany. They are:

-- Derrick Grayson, a Republican;

-- Brian Slowinski, of the Libertarian and Constitution parties;

-- John Fortuin, of the Green Party;

-- Dean Winfield, a Democrat;

-- Al Bartell, an independent;

-- and Allen Buckley, an independent.


Some interesting lines from an online newsletter operating under the name of

Saudi Arabia has picked up another former state Republican official as it continues to build up its lobbying and public relations presence in the US heartland.

Jerry Keen, a former Georgia state House majority leader who retired from government in 2010, has joined Iowa-based LS2Group's Saudi account as a consultant for a $5,000 fee. Keen is president and CEO of Joe Tanner & Associates.


In other endorsement news: U.S. Sen. David Perdue released a list of 93 sheriffs who have backed his campaign. His aides say the tally of elected law enforcement officials on his endorsement list includes a dozen Democrats and one independent.


U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s latest play for the conservative vote is legislation that would bar transgender women and girls from competing in sports alongside other women by threatening federal funding to schools that allow it.

The bill predictably has drawn praise from the right — who deem transgender participation “unfair” -- and accusations of pandering from the left.

“Sen. @KLoeffler is demonizing the transgender community to score political points,” Rev. Raphael Warnock, Loeffler’s leading Democratic opponent in the special election, wrote on Twitter.


If you’ve been meaning to catch the documentary “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” the television premiere is Sunday on CNN at 9 p.m.. It will hit streaming platform HBOMax next month.


In his newsletter, Ryan Anderson offered a preliminary analysis of U.S. House races, including some interesting commentary on the competitiveness of Sixth and Seventh Districts in suburban Atlanta based on changing racial demographics.

GA-06 and GA-07 will go back and forth as to which the media horse race coverage will say is most competitive, but for the most part our belief is only the Georgia 6th is competitive. The demographics and efforts in the Georgia 7th have made it a district that has already flipped. Mix in that the 7th has seen a major influx of new residents and there is no real path for Republicans to defend this seat and not have it flip.