For the past few months, the Senate Republican primary has looked like a cage match between five politicians biting and gouging to see who can move most sharply to the far right edge of the ring.
The national media is fascinated by this campaign and tends to describe it as a freak show staged by a party determined to blow itself up. A typical headline out of Washington was, “GOP threatens to push self-destruct button in Georgia Senate race.”
You can understand how they might get that impression. In this race, one of the leading candidates, Paul Broun, held a raffle for an assault weapon just like the one used in the Sandy Hook school massacre. Another major contender, Jack Kingston, made the controversial remark that low-income children should be required to perform janitorial work before they can get a free lunch at school.
Some recent polls show businessman David Perdue, cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, leading the field by a small margin. Kingston and Broun have run close behind Perdue, while Phil Gingrey is leaking support and Karen Handel is dropping steadily to the bottom of the pack.
Each of these polls also included a large number of undecided voters ranging anywhere from 25 percent to 44 percent of those surveyed. There are still many people who haven’t made a decision, giving every candidate room to grow.
It looks like there will be a runoff involving a tea party candidate — most likely Broun — and an establishment candidate amenable to the Wall Street wing of the party, perhaps Perdue or Kingston.