ATLANTA — The Governor’s race in Georgia has more of a feel of a horror show marathon every day as November 2 draws closer. Three debates are scheduled over the course of Halloween weekend. All will be televised. When these three debates are concluded, this will round out an even dozen face to face offerings between the candidates. Some exchanges have been heated. Others have just simply repeated the same rhetoric over and over.
The Georgia Governor’s Halloween Debate Schedule
There will be three debates. Two will be on Saturday and one will be Sunday evening. The first will occur Saturday, October 30 and is sponsored by WSB Channel 2 in Atlanta. It will be aired live and will be available to anyone in the metro Atlanta viewing area. Later, at 5:00 p.m., Atlanta’s FOX affiliate channel 5, will sponsor another live televised debate for the metro Atlanta viewing area. Then on Halloween, Sunday October 31 the final debate of this long gubernatorial election race will be held at 7:00 pm. This last debate is sponsored by Georgia Public Television and will be aired statewide.
Why Barnes, Deal and Monds Keep Debating
Obviously, the debate is truly between Democrat Barnes and Republican Deal. Yet, Libertarian Monds has been included in each debate. The debates continue because the race is in practically a dead heat. No candidate has 50% of the vote, which is required in Georgia for victory. One of the latest polls, conducted by Insider Advantage and WSB Atlanta showed Deal at 45 percent, Barnes at 40 percent, Monds at 5 percent, and Undecided at 10 percent. This undecided vote can make or break both candidates. Is there really an undecided vote at this point? In reality, I feel it is an undeclared vote. Anyone without a decision at this point is highly unlikely to vote, in my opinion.
Does the Georgia Voter Really Care?
This is Halloween weekend. Georgians love their Halloween activities, especially when it falls on a weekend. I am not sure exactly how high the ratings will be for the debates. Most Georgians will be dressing their kids and grandkids in costumes, heading out the door to trick or treat, or dishing out goodies to the kids that come to their own door on Saturday. On top of that, a large number of Georgians will be in Talladega, Alabama for the huge NASCAR event Hallow Dega. Add to that football games, fall festivals, spook and haunted house tours and you will find that most Georgia voters will simply be tuned out. The statewide GPB-TV debate on Sunday night will fall in a time slot where many Georgians will be at Sunday night church services.
Georgia is Sick of Barnes and Deal Political Ads
We cannot watch a program on television morning, noon or night without the onslaught of negative ads being aired continuously between Deal and Barnes. For example, we settled on Thursday night with our children to watch the It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, a yearly event we all enjoy. At every interval, there were ads spouting out the negative aspects of each. If we try to watch cable television, the ads are there as well. Money is flowing from the respective campaigns, although I have yet to see a John Monds ad.
In a time of an unemployment crisis and education crisis in this state, it offends me to see so much money being poured into media and advertising. Surely the money could be better spent on children or job creation. The millions upon millions could actually make a very big difference to a whole lot of Georgians. Yet it is the very squeaky wheel that keeps on turning and rolling, and the Barnes and Deal campaigns, along with the Democratic and Republican parties keep giving it the grease. The biggest hurdle that I can see is if one of them will actually be elected on Tuesday. If not, and it does seem we will be heading for a runoff, we all will have to endure more of the same past Thanksgiving.
Sources: WSB/Insider Advantage Poll Numbers, Roy Barnes for Governor, Nathan Deal for Governor