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Republicans link Barnes to Obama
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As approval ratings for Democrats remain low, Republicans are hoping to capitalize on the mood in Georgia's gubernatorial race.

The Republican Governors Association has a TV ad and website attacking Roy Barnes, the Democratic contender in the governors race, by unfavorably linking him with President Barack Obama.

"The most frightening thing for Georgia voters is knowing that Barack Obama's out-of-touch governing is actually lifted directly from Roy Barnes' playbook. Both jam policies down voters' throats, politic all the time and blame others when their liberal policies fail," said Chris Schrimpf, a spokesman for the Republican Governors Association.

But the Barnes camp said national politics have nothing to do with his bid for governor.

"Roy Barnes is running for governor of Georgia, not Washington, D.C.," said Barnes spokesman Emil Runge.

Recent poll figures indicate that Georgians' confidence in Washington is lukewarm at best.

The poll, commissioned by The Times and 12 other Georgia newspapers, and conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, surveyed 625 Georgians likely to vote in November's gubernatorial election.

Just 36 percent of poll participants statewide indicated they approved of the president's job performance. And 17 percent reported they were pleased with Congress.

Perceptions of Washington may affect the way people vote in Georgia.

Statewide, 47 percent reported they are less likely to vote for local Democrats based on their opinions of national politicians. Twenty-three percent of voters responded that they are more likely to vote for Democrats locally based on the way the president and the Democratic-controlled Congress have handled issues.

Though the Barnes campaign would not comment further, it is apparent Barnes understands the political climate, especially in a largely conservative state such as Georgia.

When Obama came to Georgia, Barnes was on the other side of the state. He has also taken more conservative stances on issues such as immigration and health care.

Though Republicans have capitalized not only on Barnes' party affiliation, but the former governor's failure to seek a second term.

"No doubt Roy has taken some stands, but he was either paid to do so as a trial lawyer or did so as governor of Georgia and since apologized for it or changed his position on it," Schrimpf said.


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