There have been a couple of disturbing events in the past day or two, and I have a theory as to why.
First, a relatively well known conservative blog put up this post — in this post, the blogger slams the Georgia Libertarian party for daring to speak out against Nathan Deal. The post essentially argues that Libertarians are only lambasting Deal because they hope to legitimize their party in this state. The poster seems to feel that it’s unlikely that the Libertarians who have used “a bully pulpit [to savage] Republican Governor nominee Nathan Deal” might really believe what they are saying: namely, that Nathan Deal is a corrupt liar who is unfit to govern our state. I think it’s pathetic that Deal’s supporters seem so insecure that they cannot fathom why someone might not support their candidate. But that’s not what I find interesting.
Read this excerpt from the post:
If the Libertarians rally and get their candidate even 10% of the vote, it could force a runoff between Deal and Barnes. While a general election runoff may be entertaining for some Libertarians, that scenario has not historically worked out well for the Democrats; they have never won a runoff in a statewide race.
In fairness, many of the self-proclaimed Libertarians pushing this agenda and willingly cross-posting the left’s ginned up criticism and lampooning of Deal weren’t born when Ross Perot’s candidacy gave us Bill Clinton. Forgive them. They know not what they do.
First, the poster argues that even if the Libertarians DO manage to force a run off (which we think is incredibly likely), Deal will still win since Dems haven’t ever won a runoff in a statewide race. (Though, for the record, let’s not forget that Republicans hadn’t won a governor’s race in about 150 years until Sonny — history doesn’t ALWAYS repeat itself.) The poster then immediately moves on to point out a classic example of a third party forcing a runoff…that gave us a Democrat. He implies that the Libertarians lampooning Deal do not realize the damage that they might accidentally do…In other words, they don’t realize how bad things might be if they succeed and Deal loses…Which means the poster thinks that that might actually happen.
The second event was covered in this AJC post. To sum up the post, the GOP is threatening to sue Barnes for using their elephant logo and the letters GOP on the site www.gopforroy.com. They are arguing that the use of such recognizably Republican symbols might mislead voters into believing that Roy is a Republican. This is yet another example of the right’s refusal to believe that anyone other than a Democrat could possibly refuse to support Nathan Deal. Apparently, Republicans aren’t ALLOWED to be for Roy. They further argue that these symbols might suggest that Roy “has the support of the Republican Party, which he assuredly does not have…” Apparently it doesn’t matter that Roy does indeed have the support of a faction of the Republican party.
The fact that Deal’s supporters have launched attacks on both the Libertarians supporting Barnes and the members of their own party who support Barnes leads me to my theory. Recent polls have shown Deal leading Barnes by a fairly decent margin (a fact which I’m still having some trouble wrapping my head around). But these polls tend to have a margin of error of +/- 4-5% and show a sizable number of “undecided” voters. I think that Deal’s internal polling is showing a far less appealing picture. I think that Deal’s running scared. I think that Deal’s campaign is beginning to worry about the number of self-proclaimed conservatives — Republican and Libertarian alike — who are fleeing from Deal like rats from a ship.