Georgia Races Tightening As Election Day Looms

       Some surprising poll numbers are out this week that have Democrats optimistic they could pull major upsets in the state of Georgia. The races for Governor and the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Republican Saxby Chambliss are both too close to call.
       "Right now both races are in a statistical dead heat, it is just an out and out tie," says Dalton State political science professor Dr. Ken Ellinger.
       That comes a little bit of a surprise to political observers.
       "If either democratic candidate wins, I’m calling it an upset, because Georgia has really turned red, but the Republicans are showing real vulnerability," added Ellinger.
       In the race for Governor, incumbent Nathan Deal is trailing challenger Jason Carter 45 percent to 44 percent. In the race for Senate, Republican David Perdue leads Democrat Michelle Nunn 46 to 45 percent. Pundits say it will come down to voter turnout, with democratic strongholds like Atlanta vying for votes to counter more conservative areas like the city suburbs and North Georgia.
       "It’s the ring of Republican led counties around Atlanta that tend to control state politics with Republican administrations. You have strong democratic parties in South Georgia, you have some counties that are dominant democratic," said Dr. Wayne Boyle, chairman of the Walker County Democratic Committee.
       One thing the democratic candidates have on their side, name recognition. Carter is the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. Nunn is the daughter of former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn.
       "People being familiar with the name, for people that really don’t pay attention to politics, the familiarity with the name is significant for them," said Ellinger.
       None of the candidates have done much campaigning in North Georgia. Ellinger says that’s a mistake.
       "Let’s be clear, they’ve pretty much ignored us. The Democrats should be trying to minimize the damage that is going to be done to them in Northwest Georgia, and the Republicans should be trying to run it up even higher. To have an invisible campaign in one region of the state I don’t think is very smart strategy."
       If none of the candidates gets a majority of the vote, they face a runoff election. Georgia is the only state in the union to hold runoff elections after the general election.
Categories: Elections, Local News

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