All the talk of a Republican takeover of the US Senate after this year’s midterms may have been a bit premature as a new poll in Georgia shows that Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn holds a three-point lead over Republican nominee David Perdue for Georgia’s open Senate seat. The seat is currently held by retiring Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss. The poll, conducted by Landmark Communications, has Nunn up on Perdue, 46% to 43%. The poll’s margin of error is 2.9%, so Nunn’s lead is razor-thin. However, considering that Georgia is a deep-red state, it has to be extremely disheartening for Republicans to see themselves down in a race where they’d normally be holding a comfortable lead.
The GOP is also taking its lumps in the race for governor. Incumbent Governor Nathan Deal is currently trailing his Democratic opponent, State Senator Jason Carter. Like Nunn, Carter is the beneficiary of a famous last name. While Nunn is the daughter of former US Senator Sam Nunn, Carter’s grandfather is Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States. The poll shows Carter leads Deal by three points, 47% to 44%. With Deal dealing with an ethics investigation, along with general voter dissatisfaction over his policies, trend lines seem to be pointing in a Democratic direction.
For both Nunn and Carter, their path to victory lies with women, African-Americans and independent voters. If they can energize these bases and have them show up on Election Day, then both candidates should have no problem pulling out victories. Both Carter and Nunn hold commanding leads with all three voter groups. When it comes to black voters, Nunn leads Perdue by a whopping 74 points while Carter is up on Deal, 79% to 12%. Women favor Nunn by 13 points while Carter is up by 15 points over Deal. Independents prefer Nunn over Perdue by a nearly 20-point margin while Carter holds a 19-point lead over Deal.
Republicans need to flip six Democratic Senate seats in order to grab the majority this year. Currently, it seems all but a given that Democrats will lose three seats that they currently control (South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana) as retirements/resignations in these red states have opened the door for Republicans to swoop in and grab them up. With that considered, the GOP only needs to pick up three other seats while not losing any of theirs. With so many competitive races and Democrats being forced to defend so many seats, the odds seemed stacked against the Dems. However, Republicans are now seeing that they are vulnerable in three states (Kentucky, Georgia and Kansas) and could lose any or all of them, making it increasingly difficult to overtake the Senate.
While Democrats are still extremely vulnerable this November and the GOP has a very good shot at taking over the Senate, conditions are looking more and more favorable for Democrats. Democratic incumbents and candidates in swing states are starting to pull away from their opponents, especially as many GOP candidates are revealing themselves to be extremists with far-right agendas that are putting off voters.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).