Jim Marshall is Worried in Georgia 8


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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released an internal poll in Georgia’s 8th Congressional District showing Jim Marshall ahead by twelve points. It is exceedingly rare in this election cycle for the DCCC to release an internal poll.Doing so shows a level of panic about this race and a desire to change expectations. The poll is also disconnected from reality. Look at Jim Marshall’s last two mid-term elections. He beat Caulder Clay by roughly 1% in 2002. He beat Mac Collins by roughly 1% in 2006. In 2008, the high water mark for Democratic turnout with Barack Obama at the top of the ballot, Jim Marshall only beat Rick Goddard by about 14% of the vote.For a poll to show Jim Marshall ahead of Austin Scott by 12% in an anti-incumbent, anti-Washington, anti-Democrat year in a congressional district that already leans Republican is sheer fabrication. It also does not correspond to any of the non-partisan polls, what few there are, and a variety of other unreleased internal polls out there.If that’s not enough, the Democrats are now trying to push out information about Austin Scott, Marshall’s opponent, contained in sealed divorce records — sealed jointly by Austin Scott and his former wife when Scott first ran for the state legislature. The Democrats are going scorched earth.Things are terrible for the Democrats this year. In New York, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is only one point ahead of a Republican no one has ever heard of. In Wisconsin, popular Senator Russ Feingold is behind his Republican challenger. In California, Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer are neck and neck. If Democrats are having that much trouble in Democrat states, it is less than convincing to produce a poll showing Jim Marshall twelve points ahead in a Republican leaning Congressional district.Marshall has bigger problems though. Left-wing interest groups find him useless because of his votes. Right-wing interest groups find him useless because of his party affiliation. Marshall stands in the middle mostly a man alone. Typically that is a fantastic position to be in. He can tout his independence.This year, however, Republicans want to take back the House of Representatives. It will be races like Jim Marshall’s where Republicans who like him will have to abandon him to get rid of Nancy Pelosi. That Marshall is already out attacking Austin Scott is another sign Marshall gets it and is panicked.Austin Scott is an attractive candidate from an area of the district not known for fielding candidates. Marshall’s other challengers have typically come from the Middle Georgia area. Scott lives in the southern part of the district. A conservative legislator who has an independent streak and a willingness to speak his mind — a right-of-center Jim Marshall in a sense — Scott has the advantage of being a fresh face with an “R” next to his name.The biggest challenge for Marshall is going to be Robins Air Force Base. As I’ve noted before, Robins has two major competitors in the BRAC Commission reviews: Tinker Air Force Base is in the 4th District of Oklahoma and Hill Air Force Base in the 1st District of Utah. Both are represented by Republicans. If the GOP does take back the House, as is likely, having a Democrat representing Robins becomes a liability to Robins Air Force Base.I have said for several years that this would be Jim Marshall’s most difficult election cycle. It is shaping up to be a doozy not just for him, but for Democrats everything. A year ago, Time magazine declared Republicans an “endangered species.” My, my how times change.



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