On Thursday, January 9, a poll from InsiderAdvantage CEO/Fox5 shows that Republican Governor Nathan Deal has a large lead over Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter.
Even though it is early in the campaign, a bigger issue for the 38 year-old Democrat in an increasingly diverse state such as Georgia is that attempting to out-Republican the Republicans via political rhetoric about the federal government , President Obama and/or the Affordable Care Act is not a winning strategy.
If Carter wants to succeed in 2014, he will have to dispel myths about the Affordable Care Law and help to educate Georgians about how he would help make the law and/or Medicaid expansion work for Georgians as the new governor.
However, since November, Carter has been a part of the conservative chorus in criticizing the Affordable Care Act.
Recently, Carter had responded to the Affordable Care Act by saying the following in an interview with Creative Loafing:
"The problem we all have now is that the Affordable Care Act - or Obamacare, whatever you want to call it - is in such disarray today that it's hard to know what it means."
The White House says things are getting on track and of the 1.1 million people the administration says are enrolled through HealthCare.gov, the overwhelming majority, 975,000, registered in December.
Carter has fashioned himself as a problem solver and many people want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but attacking President Obama's health care law will not win votes from Republicans who voted for Romney or George Bush and will provide frustration for increasing number of Democrats and open-minded independents who may stay home in 2014.
Carter hasn't been seen outside of metro Atlanta since his campaign announcement in places such as Macon, Augusta, Valdosta and Savannah which are Democratic strongholds and supported President Barack Obama.
At some point, very soon, we need to get the full story about whether he supports the Affordable Care Act. Carter owes this to voters for the sake of being transparent.
Does State Sen. Jason Carter have the political stamina to defend the Affordable Care Act along with explaining the benefits of expanding Medicaid in Georgia?
Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed has withheld an endorsement and even though Reed may have personal reasons, but it is noteworthy.
Reed said the following:
"I definitely have said I think he's special and he definitely has an opportunity to win," Reed said during a media availability after his second-term inauguration. "But I'm not a bandwagon jumper. When you offer yourself to office, you've got to get out here, you gotta go through it. That's what I did."
Carter will have to take his campaign to another level and not be seduced by pressure from people in his own campaign in taking shots at President Obama as if that will increase his chances of winning.
Carter needs to embrace the 'existing law' and take a principled stand starting today on Obamacare and other issues ranging from voting rights to public education.
The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect, but it is a significant step in the right direction in regard to insuring all Americans.
Governor Deal is ethically challenged and Carter has attempted to draw distinctions.
"The problem with the current governor is that he cares more about the Washington politics of Obamacare than about helping or protecting Georgia taxpayers. We have a situation where Georgia pays federal tax dollars and those tax dollars are being used to expand Medicaid in other places. What the governor has said is that he would rather play politics with that money than come back to Georgia.
I would try to find a creative way to bring that money back the way other places - Kentucky or Arkansas - they've all been looking for ways to do that. It probably won't be a straight acceptance of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion. It would be a problem-solving approach that doesn't care about the politics and cares about what's best for Georgia taxpayers and Georgia citizens."