Hayes Likely to Force Run-Off?

Looks like there’s an increasing chance that Libertarian candidate Garrett Hayes might force a run-off in the Georgia gubernatorial race…

A new InsiderAdvantage.com poll out on Monday suggests the latest round of negative ads is having a negative impact on the two front-runners in the race for governor.

Gov. Perdue dropped six points, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor is down two points, and Libertarian candidate Garrett Michael Hayes is showing some surprising strength.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go through the whole campaign without those negative ads like they had in the Democratic primary?” asks a Perdue ad.

The answer to that is maybe. Because one thing is for certain—the new blitz of attack ads isn’t working for the two front-runners.

“How did Sonny avoid $100,000 in taxes on his Disney World land deal,” a Taylor ad asks.

Gov. Perdue talked about the deal in a responding ad.

“Mark, tell you what—I’ll sell you that land today for $20 million, even $10 million—just $38 million off,” the ad said.

Pollster Matt Towery says the negative ads are driving people away from the two candidates.

“The governor’s response ad—the so-called Pinnochio (ad)—didn’t help matters because the governor appeared on TV, throwing out numbers like 2 million, 38 million, 40 million, 20, 10—the public’s confused now, and once that takes place, you start to see them drift into the undecided column, which is where they’ve gone. The undecided column has gone up about 5 percent,” Towery said.

In fact, while both Sonny Perdue and Mark Taylor are losing points, Libertarian Garrett Hayes is gaining—big.

“This is the first race I’ve ever seen where the Libertarian keeps rising and the other two candidates keep dropping,” Towery said. “I’ve never seen that before in all my years at looking at political campaigns.”

Towery says the race still belongs to Perdue, but a runoff may be in the offing.

“If Perdue ever falls to 45 and stays there, and Taylor ever climbs to the upper 30s, and the Libertarian can hold at even six or seven, then we have to really start talking about the possibility of some sort of general election runoff,” Towery said.

Towery says some of the blame for the erosion in the poll has to do with voter disenchantment in the wake of the Mark Foley scandal and the war in Iraq.

17 Responses to “Hayes Likely to Force Run-Off?”

  1. Doug Craig Says:

    We are getting some great press except for the Atlanta Jounal(the big boy) .The smaller papers are treating us great.We filmed an ad last night. We are going start running them next week.We won the debate last week.We are getting some air time on the radio stations.We have caused run offs in Georgia before but they change the law to 45% takes all, but for some reason they changed it back to 50% +1.My phone has been ringing off the hook withinterviews and supporters.
    Doug Craig
    Ga. Political Director
    Libertarian Party

  2. undercover_anarchist Says:

    Too bad the press will probably be negative. The papers and TV will probably say what a waste of time the runoff is, and how this “kooky libertarian” is wasting time and money by forcing a runoff. Don’t you think, Doug? Bad publicity is good publicity, but don’t you think there’s a possiblity that the bipartisan monopoly will work to rewrite the rules for next election cycle?

  3. Doug Craig Says:

    Hi U/A the Atlanta Jounal called me after I posted this. They ask me if we wanted a run off, and I said yes we would love to be in a run off against the Republican.After he quit laughing. I told him it was nobodies fault but Perdues if he ended up in a run off.I told them if he had did a better job a run off would be out of the question.That the big two would have to look into the mirror if the were looking for blame.

  4. George Whitfield Says:


    I watched the first part of the debate (could not fit the rest into my schedule) but I was impressed by Garrett Michael Hayes. He obviously had practised getting his message into 30-second and 60-second time periods. He was confident and cool, collected but calculating. I look forward to seeing his ad.

  5. undercover_anarchist Says:

    There is no doubt that your candidate should have as his (realistic) goal to force a runof. After all, a serious candidate’s goal is always to get as many votes as possible. However, I fear that the consequences for causing a runoff may not be as positive as you are anticipating.



  7. George Whitfield Says:

    I viewed the Garrett Michael Hayes TV ad and was impressed. He is an excellent communicator. I just sent him another contribution. Go Garrett!

  8. Doug Craig Says:

    George you are a stud!

  9. Loren Collins Says:

    The AJC can be funny in who they give coverage to. I’m an independent libertarian running in Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District (known for being home to Cynthia McKinney), and I was fortunate enough to get equal treatment alongside the two major party candidates last week:

    AJC: “3 vie for McKinney’s former Congress seat”

    And being merely a write-in candidate, I’m even more flattered by this article. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet convinced the AJC to include me in their Voter’s Guide, and no other newspapers have expressed similar interest, despite my having contacted several local publications. I’m still holding out hope of attracting some attention in these last two weeks, though.

  10. Eric Dondero Says:

    Regardless, one thing you can be sure of is that the Liberal media will completely ignore this story on election night. If they mention it at all, they’ll drop the term “Libertarian” and use “an Independent candidate forced a run-off in Georgia, blah, blah, blah… And this is right under the nose of CNN. You’d think they’d be covering this.

    But it doesn’t fit the bash Republicans 24/7, 365 days a year for the liberal media.

    If you play up Libertarians, than you are saying to the American voter that there’s a Party out there who really does want to cut taxes and spending. The Republicans then become defacto “Moderate” and “Middle-of-the-road” and “Reasonable.”

    The Liberal media can’t have that now. So, their policy is to completely whitewash Libertarians.

  11. Kyle B Says:


    I live in Georgia and on election night the local news does post “Libertarian” and not indpendent next to candidates names when they show results. (I am refering to the news out of Atlanta and not some small town)
    In fact every time I have seen this poll result reported on the local news they mention how Hayes is polling, that he is the Libertarian candidate, and that he could force a runoff if he manages to get the same share of the vote that this poll is predicting.
    On a side note I am a Democrat but I am going to vote for the Libertarian that is running for state school supertintendent


  12. Sean Scallon Says:

    The LP in Georgia is benefitting from a weak state Democratic Party along with disastisfaction with the GOP. They and other independent candidates have a golden opportunity to advance the LP statewide in this election if, and this is a big if, they can build on such gains. Yes they might be protest votes now, but they can turn into party loyalty if the LP can identify that vote, target that vote and draw them closer to the party.

  13. Loren Says:

    Back on Election night 2000, I actually called CNN twice to complain about their failure to run the results for Harry Browne alongside the other candidates. As each state’s tallies were updated, they’d give the numbers for Bush, Gore, Nader, Buchanan, and even John Hagelin, but not Browne.

    It particularly annoyed me being here in Georgia, because CNN is based out of Atlanta, and Browne came in third here. Nader and Hagelin weren’t even on the ballot. But from their broadcast that night (and morning), you wouldn’t have even known Browne was in the race.

  14. Dan Says:

    In 1992, Georgia LP candidates forced very rare general election runoffs for a U.S. Senate seat and for a spot on the Public Service Commission. The day, and for that matter two weeks, after the general election were a statewide mediafest for the Georgia LP. Ultimately, the LP spoilers threw their endorsements for the GOP candidates, and incumbent Democrat senator Wyche Fowler lost the run-off election to GOP challenger Paul Coverdell. I damn with faint praise, but Coverdell, while no libertarian, was far less worse than many of his GOP colleagues in the Senate, and certainly was less statist than Fowler. (Coverdell died in 2000, early in his second term in office.) Then, as now, media outlets other than the Atlanta Journal-Constitution were pretty good about noting the role played by the Libertarian (not “independent”) candidates.

  15. Doug Craig Says:

    Great interview tonight on www.cbs46.com with Garrett. We ordeered his spots today for his TV ads 756 spots on cable.

  16. George Whitfield Says:

    That was a great interview on the CBS TV station. The Libertarian Party in Georgia is gaining support and respect. Garrett Hayes is an effective candidate. Very impressive. I am going to join the Georgia Party and start a monthly contribution.

  17. wefreestone Says:

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