The Spectacle Blog

Poll Dampens Democratic Hopes for Georgia

By on 3.21.14 | 4:58PM

While the GOP, hopeful of capturing the Senate, focuses on vulnerable Democrats who voted for Obamacare, the left reminds Republicans of the significance of the word “net” in their goal of a net-six win this year. 

Democrats have Georgia in mind. Although Republicans may manage to take down incumbents, the argument goes, they will need to prevent Democrats from seizing the open seat in the typically red Peach State. While demographic shifts might suggest a purple (or less red) future for Georgia, the state’s role in the 2014 cycle may be overstated.

Democratic strategists have been counting on a Todd Akin-Claire McCaskill repeat this year in Georgia. For one, Republican Congressman Phil Gingrey, running for Senator Saxby Chambliss’s open seat, “partially” defended Senate candidate Todd Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” comments from 2012. 

The other Republican candidate packed with potential verbal dynamite is Congressman Paul Broun. His speech vulnerability may be best captured by the recent discovery that he hired a "rhetoric coach.”

Yesterday’s polls dampen the spirits of sanguine Democrats eager for a gaffe-producing candidate to emerge from the Republican primary on May 20. Businessman David Perdue, cousin of former governor Sonny Perdue, has taken lead in SurveyUSA’s poll with 29 percent. Congressman Jack Kingston, another “solid general election" candidate, follows with 19 percent. Gingrey and Broun fall in third and fourth respectively. Former secretary of state Karen Handel trails in fifth.

Former CEO of the nonprofit Points of Light Michelle Nunn is favored to take the Democratic nomination through name recognition—her father is the former senator Sam Nunn—and money. A poll released on March 10 by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling placed Nunn above all possible Republican contenders. At the top of the GOP selection, Gingrey only trailed Nunn by two points. However, as The Hill points out, the left-leaning PPP suspiciously excluded polling questions on a possible match-up between Nunn and Perdue, who now leads the Republican primary race by ten points.

The Huffington Post tries to shed some light on Perdue’s surge in the polls by pointing to a Pew poll indicating, “Americans don’t like Obamacare, but don’t want it to fail.” Are Democrats really clinging to the fact that Americans don't want a deeply unpopular piece of legislation "to fail" as hope for maintaining the Senate?

With Perdue rising in the polls and Kingston holding up second place, it seems the Democratic strategy of praying for a gaffe machine to sabotage a Republican victory in this fairly consistent red state needs some revision.

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