Georgia gubernatorial election, 2006

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Georgia gubernatorial election, 2006
Georgia (U.S. state)
2002 ←
November 7, 2006 → 2010

  Sonny Perdue at rally.jpg Marktaylorpic.jpg
Nominee Sonny Perdue Mark Taylor
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,229,724 811,049
Percentage 57.94% 38.22%

GACounties06Gub.png

County Results

Governor before election

Sonny Perdue
Republican

Elected Governor

Sonny Perdue
Republican

The 2006 Georgia Gubernatorial Election was held on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Republican Governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue ran for re-election to a second and final term as Governor. Governor Perdue was renominated by the Republican Party, defeating a minor opponent in the process, while Lieutenant Governor of Georgia Mark Taylor narrowly emerged victorious from a competitive Democratic primary. In the general election, though Taylor ran a spirited campaign, Perdue was aided by the increasing tendency of the state to vote for Republicans and by the fact that he was popular with the public; polling showed his approval ratings above sixty percent.[1] In the end, Perdue was overwhelmingly re-elected as Governor, crushing Taylor in a landslide.

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

2006 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary. Dark blue indicates Taylor, while light blue indicates Cox.[2]
Democratic primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mark Taylor 249,188 51.69
Democratic Cathy Cox 211,978 43.97
Democratic Bill Bolton 10,552 2.19
Democratic Mac McCarley 10,399 2.16
Total votes 482,117 100.00

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sonny Perdue 370,756 88.43
Republican Ray McBerry 48,498 11.57
Total votes 419,254 100.00

General election[edit]

Fundraising[edit]

Perdue had more financial resources on hand than Taylor. As of the March 31 filing, Perdue reported that he had in excess of $8 million on hand, while Taylor had $4.1 million in reserve. Perdue had the added advantage of facing a weak opponent in Ray McBerry in the primary election, while Cox and Taylor engaged in a bitter struggle for the Democratic nomination. Hayes, the Libertarian candidate, reported less than $1,000 on hand, though the September 11 Zogby poll showed him attracting a surprising 8.1 percent of polled voters.

Advertisements[edit]

A minor controversy developed during the primary campaign over an ad created by Georgians for Truth, a group founded by several prominent Democratic fundraisers. The ad criticized Perdue for allegedly failing to pay his taxes for several years before becoming governor, allegations that had been made in the 2002 campaign as well. Cox and Taylor, for reasons that are not clear, requested that the group not run the ad, prompting the Georgia Democratic Party chairman, Bobby Kahn, to strongly rebuke the group's members.

Campaign issues[edit]

Education[edit]

  • The HOPE Scholarship program and its stability and continued solvency are recurring issues in Georgia politics. Citing budget constraints, Perdue signed Republican-sponsored legislation that significantly cut the benefits conferred by the program. Cox and Taylor both severely criticized the governor for these actions, and both pointed to the fact that Perdue voted against the legislation creating the program as a state senator in 1993. Perdue backed an amendment to the state constitution that would have shifted the allocation of the lottery funds that support the program, but the legislation was defeated [1].
On April 19, 2006, Cox charged that Taylor had not sponsored the HOPE scholarship legislation in 1993, as he claimed. Taylor apparently sponsored a companion bill that did not pass, although he supported the bill that did pass. The incident portended a strongly negative campaign for the Democratic nomination.
  • College Tuition may also be an issue. During Perdue's first term, Georgia's universities substantially increased tuition fees.
  • School funding: Perdue successfully backed legislation that requires Georgia schools to spend at least 65% of their budgets "in the classroom". Democrats charged that some school programs, such as music classes, do not fit the definition of "in the classroom."

Health Care[edit]

  • Peachcare, a state program providing medical care for needy children and families, emerged as a point of contention between Perdue and his challengers. Perdue approved a cut in the program during his administration. Taylor, a strong supporter of the program, was particularly vocal in attacking Perdue and advocating significant expansion of the program.
  • Medicaid: Perdue made Medicaid reform a priority during his first term. Democrats were critical of the reform proposal that Perdue presented to federal officials.

Immigration[edit]

The problem presented by illegal immigrants emerged during Georgia's 2006 legislative session as an issue likely to have a large impact on the gubernatorial campaign. Perdue signed legislation restricting the ability of illegal immigrants to access state resources, including health care and public education.

Voting[edit]

  • Voter identification legislation signed by Perdue requiring photo identification for voting while expanding absentee voting opportunities had a substantial impact on the campaign. Democrats strongly denounced the legislation as discriminatory against the poor and elderly, while Republicans attempted to alleviate such concerns by providing access to photo identification for those not possessing it.
  • Paper ballots were a major concern of Taylor supporters, who felt that Cox made a mistake when she brought electronic voting to Georgia as Secretary of State.

Polling[edit]

Source Date Taylor (D) Perdue (R) Hayes (L)
Strategic Vision Nov. 1, 2006 36% 52% 5%
Strategic Vision Oct. 25, 2006 32% 51% 9%
Strategic Vision Sept. 27, 2006 39% 51% 4%
Zogby/WSJ Sept. 11, 2006 34.9% 47.4% 8.1%
Zogby/WSJ August 28, 2006 40.7% 51.3%
Strategic Vision August 23, 2006 41% 54%
Rasmussen August 4, 2006 39% 53%
Zogby/WSJ July 24, 2006 39.3% 52.1%
Strategic Vision June 28, 2006 44% 50%
Zogby/WSJ June 21, 2006 40% 48.6%
Strategic Vision May 10, 2006 39% 51%
Rasmussen May 6, 2006 36% 51%
Rasmussen March 26, 2006 41% 51%
Strategic Vision March 8, 2006 33% 57%
Rasmussen Feb 16, 2006 33% 53%
Strategic Vision Jan 25, 2006 36% 57%
Strategic Vision Dec 7, 2005 38% 55%
Strategic Vision Oct 26, 2005 37% 55%
Strategic Vision Aug 4, 2005 40% 52%
Strategic Vision May 13, 2005 42% 50%
Strategic Vision Feb 11, 2005 44% 50%

Results[edit]

Georgia gubernatorial election, 2006[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sonny Perdue (inc.) 1,229,724 57.95% +6.53%
Democratic Mark Taylor 811,049 38.22% -8.04%
Libertarian Gary Hayes 81,412 3.84% +1.51%
Majority 418,675 19.73% +14.56%
Turnout 2,122,185
Republican hold Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]