A new CNN/ORC Poll is the latest in a long line of polls to show Democrat Michelle Nunn leading David Perdue in the Georgia Senate race. More importantly, the CNN poll shows that Nunn would win a runoff between the two candidates.
CNN reported, “Democrat Michelle Nunn has a slight 47%-44% edge over Republican David Perdue in the Georgia race for an open Senate seat, according to a new CNN/ORC International survey released Friday…Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford is pulling 5% of the vote in Georgia, keeping Nunn and Perdue from reaching the 50% threshold….In a hypothetical runoff, Nunn still holds a small margin over Perdue, 51% to 47%. But the poll’s likely voter model can only estimate the November electorate, as a runoff election can draw a smaller and different crowd than the general election.”
The fact that the model shows that Democrats would win a runoff is very important. One of the reasons that Nunn is doing so well in Georgia is that the Republican tactic of linking her to President Obama has failed.
Here is an example of how that exchange has gone via The Hill,
President Obama made it crystal clear that a vote for Michelle Nunn is a vote to further his failed policies in Washington. While Michelle Nunn has been running from Obama since day one, she will absolutely continue to implement his liberal agenda by expanding Obamacare, granting amnesty for illegal immigrants, and raising taxes,” said Perdue spokeswoman Megan Whittemore.
Nunn’s campaign scoffed at attempts to tie them together.
“She’s probably spent maybe 45 minutes with President Obama in her life,” said Gordon Giffin, a former ambassador to Canada, Nunn’s campaign chairman and her father’s longtime chief of staff. “She’s spent 47 years with Sam Nunn. Who do you think she’s going to get advice from?”
Another poll released today by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed Perdue with a two point lead 46%-44%, but also acknowledged that momentum is moving towards Nunn, “While there has been some variation in the polls of late, there has been movement in Deal’s direction in the governor’s race and Nunn’s way in the Senate race, while both remain tight and no one has hit 50 percent yet.”
The Georgia Senate race has become enough of a cause for concern among Republicans that they are mapping out alternative strategies for possibly getting to 51 Senators without Georgia. If Republicans lose Georgia, they will absolutely have to win Iowa and hold on to Kentucky. Should they lose Georgia and Iowa or Kentucky, Democrats will keep their Senate majority.
Nunn has all the momentum in Georgia. In the likely event of a runoff, the Democrat should be a slightly favored to win. Georgia is a test for the entire Republican strategy of linking every Democratic Senate candidate to President Obama.
Democratic victories in Kentucky and Georgia would mean that Republicans failed to nationalize the Senate races by making them all about Obama. Democratic wins would validate their strategy of focusing resources on getting out the vote.
Kentucky is the high profile white hot Senate race of the cycle, but there is serious trouble brewing for the Republican Party in Georgia.