Georgia runoff looks more likely | Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball

17
Oct

Georgia runoff looks more likely | Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Money the DSCC might have spent in Kentucky now appears to be going to Georgia, which is good news for Michelle Nunn (D) in her challenging battle against David Perdue (R). Perdue has led most public polls by about three to four points — though Nunn led by three in a new SurveyUSA poll Wednesday — but Perdue needs to get to 50% to avoid a runoff. Right now, he’s stuck between 46-47% in the poll averages. Perdue also apparently has been hurt by comments from several years ago about outsourcing jobs.

Democrats and Republicans still seem to be holding out hope that they can get their respective candidate over 50% on Election Day (Perdue still has the better shot). But we’re not so sure either will make it. So we’re giving this race the same designation we have in Louisiana: Toss-up/Leans Runoff.

Our projection remains a five-to-eight seat Republican gain in the Senate, and with less than three weeks to go we would much rather be holding the cards Republicans have been dealt versus the ones dealt to the Democrats as both sides play for a Senate majority. Despite the likelihood of two runoffs, it’s not impossible to imagine the GOP having a good enough night that they get to 51 seats without Georgia or Louisiana: That would mean holding all of their present seats (minus Georgia, at least on Election Day) and capturing (in order of least to most GOP difficulty) Montana, West Virginia, South Dakota, Arkansas, Alaska, Iowa, and Colorado. That would represent a great night for the GOP, and they have at least a decent chance in all seven races (North Carolina could be the eighth).

That said, a month ago the Republican position looked much stronger in Georgia and Kansas (states they already hold), as well as South Dakota (a seat that until recently looked like an easy pick-up). Republicans could and probably should win all three, even if it takes them until January to do so in the Peach State. But 2014 has been a crazy enough election that one of these seats could possibly slip through the GOP’s fingers.

via Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

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