Sunday, October 26, 2014
Georgia On My Mind
At present, Michelle Nunn is leading David Perdue by .3 points, 45.5 to 45.2. Assuming the undecideds break 2 to 1 for the challenger - remember the seat is Republican - that should put Nunn over the top, right? Wrong. That's because there's a third-party candidate who is polling at 5 points. If that percentage holds, even if Nunn were to get 75 percent of the undecideds - highly unlikely - she would still finish at 48.7 percent. And that means a runoff in January.
The good news is that Nunn would still be slightly favored, unlike Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, which would hold its runoff election in December. But two months is an eternity in politics. If control of the Senate actually comes down to who wins Georgia, you can expect both parties to throw the proverbial kitchen sink into the state.
We've never seen anything like this that I can recall. The majority of the upper chamber of Congress coming down to a runoff AFTER it gets sworn in. Can you imagine Mitch McConnell as the new majority leader for a couple of days, only to see Harry Reid get his old job back? Even if I didn't have a horse in this race, I'd kill just to be a fly on the wall in that building the evening of the 6th.
Now, I have to confess, this runoff scenario is still a stretch. It relies on a number of givens, all of which have to go Democrats way. They have to hold North Carolina, New Hampshire and one of three other states: Iowa, Colorado or Alaska. Arkansas and Louisiana are all but lost at this point. Then, Greg Orman has to beat Pat Roberts in Kansas AND caucus with the Democrats.
The problem? Democrats are trailing in all three and Orman is barely ahead of Roberts. Of the three states in question, Colorado shows the most promise. The state has a large centrist population, its Democratic governor is leading in his reelection bid and the mail-in ballots tend to favor Democratic voters, the very ones who have a habit of not showing up in midterms.
Of course, it's also likely that Democrats could lose Colorado, Iowa and Alaska and Roberts could beat Orman, in which case the only purpose a Georgia runoff would serve is to determine whether the GOP ends up with 52 seats or 53.
But my gut, as well as my heart, tells me that it won't be that easy for Republicans this year. They've made a number of assumptions that simply aren't supported by the nation-wide polling. Take away the obvious - and, yes, racist - anti-Obama sentiment in deep-red states and both parties are about even.
I think we're headed for sudden-death overtime this year and history.