Tonight is the first much-anticipated debate between incumbant (and nutjob) Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Democratic challenger Hank Johnson for Georgia’s Fourth District. She actually agreed to now show up to two debates, after skipping the debates that were held prior to the primary (per WSBTV). Apparently her calendar is now clear. I’m not sure how a debate will actually change anyones’ minds with regards to Rep. McKinney… but at least there will be an opportunity for something outrageous to be said. Looking forward to that!
Today, I heard various radio news reports saying that a Zogby poll showed Johnson with a lead at 47%, McKinney with 21%, and undecided at 32%. I don’t believe that for a minute. During the actual primary, McKinney bested Johnson 47%-44%, although neither could reach the 50% majority, hence the run-off. There may be a sudden influx of donations and attentions in Johnson’s camp from Democrats who might finally see a chance to get rid of this embarrasment. But I can not believe that the people in the district have had a change of heart to that extent in the last two weeks. If Johnson starts to believe these polls, I’m afraid he might be in for a rude awakening.
Most interesting nugget of info I came across: today’s AJC indicates that 65% of contributions McKinney received actually come from outside the state of Georgia (let alone her district), vs. a mean of 27% for an incumbant congressman (Donors line up to support McKinney challenger). At least that alone shows that she’s not about her district… just her “causes”. They further quote:
As in the past, McKinney raised much of her money from out of state, with unions, Muslims — including A.S. Nakadar, founder of the Muslim Media Network and Faroque Khan, president of the Islamic Center of Long Island — and liberal activists making up a large part of her donor pool. Reports for the first half of 2006 listed about five times more money from out of state as from McKinney’s district or Atlanta. That does not include those who gave small amounts and were not separately listed by the campaign.
In Georgia, you do not register your affliation with a political party. When you enter the polling place on primary day, you can request a ballot from either party. It’s certain that some Republicans, believing that a Republican can not win the race anyway, decided to cross-over and vote for Johnson just to deprive Cynthia of a majority. But I still do not understand this. Let the Democrats pick the candidate who they want. If they really want “truth to power” Cynthia… then so be it. I understand donating money to Johnson’s campain even less.
Dick Yarbrough had a great synopsis of the McKinney/Johnson democratic race in his column (Losing column fodder the real election tragedy ):
In Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney is in a runoff with an earthling named Hank Johnson, a former DeKalb County commissioner. Stumping the district for the ambassador is media publicity hound Cindy Sheehan, as well as Darth Vader and E.T., the Extra Terrestrial — none of whom are qualified to vote in the district. Needless to say, I have a great interest in the outcome of this race. The ambassador is worth a minimum of four columns a year — six, if she slaps a police officer.
Cindy Sheehan came to McKinney’s “Victory Party” on primary election night… but there was no victory. No word yet if she’ll be waiting for the runoff results to come in on August 8th.