Rep. Jack Kingston, a seven-term incumbent and Peach Pundit contributor, is facing Democrat opposition for the first time since 2002, in the form of “United Methodist minister and self-described moderate Democrat” Jim Nelson, who has been visiting counties in the 1st District as he campaigns for office — although, from the size of the audiences he has been receiving, it sounds like he may be about the only one who knows that he’s running.
From today’s Brunswick News:
Perhaps indicating the battle he faces for attention against a seven-term incumbent, Nelson was greeted by a sparsely attended rally at the Historic Glynn County Courthouse. The event [was] attended by about 10 people.
Nelson told the gathering at the old courthouse that although he did not face primary opposition, he is encouraged by Tuesday’s returns. Nelson said he received only 4,000 fewer votes than Kingston did in his unopposed Republican contest. “If you add that together, we took 45 percent of the vote,” he said. “Being a newcomer running against a 14-year incumbent, that’s good.”
First of all, the “45%” number is close, but incorrect — Nelson received almost 18,000 votes to Kingston’s 25,000 (41.9% of the vote, and 7,000 less than Kingston, not the 4,000 he claimed to have trailed by), with both running uncontested. Second of all, there are three numbers which are far more important for him to keep in mind as he proceeds with his campaign: 42.4%, 72.1%, and 103,661.
42.4% was the percent of the vote that Kingston’s last challenger, also unopposed, received in the primary election (2002). Not only is this a slightly higher percentage of the primary vote than Nelson received (by 0.5%), but the Democrat candidate in 2002 also received almost 4,000 more total votes in that election (21,818) than Nelson did now (17,991).
72.1% was the percentage of the popular vote Rep. Kingston went on to receive in the 2002 general election.
103,661 was the number of total votes Kingston received in that general election — a number pretty daunting to a challenger who must increase his primary votes almost 6-fold to achieve such a total, and doubly so to a candidate who is unable to muster even a dozen attendees at a “campaign rally.”