Does Stephens Have the Big Mo?

Insider Advantage points out this fact today:

An Insider Advantage poll three weeks ago showed Handel with a double digit lead and Stephens in single digits. Had she had enough money to mount a serious media campaign, she might have been able to win without a runoff.

Her inability to do so aided the Stephens campaign and at the end of the day Stephens moved from about 8 percent of the vote to the low 30’s while Handel moved from the mid and high 30’s to the low 40’s.

This clearly gives a sense of perspective and potential momentum to the Stephens campaign.

From the very get-go, Stephens has aggressively tried to depict Handel as a closet liberal running in a conservative Republican Primary. It is true that she has fired back with her own charges, but Stephens has seemed to be the more effective in making his stick.

That’s all true (assuming their polling was correct) and Handel did get a big assist by a North Fulton turnout that will not repeat in the runoff. But, Handel did win 106 counties to Stephens’s 45 counties. She does have the endorsements of the other people in that race.

My sense in a runoff is that if the second place guy gets within five to seven points, they can take the race in the runoff. But, outside of that, it is very, very tough. With an 10 point difference, roughly, I don’t think Stephens is going to be able to get it — especially if his runoff race is organized in the same manner as his primary.


  1. techtrack says:

    first off, stephens was considered the front runner as soon as he got in the race. how could he be considered to have the big mo when as the front runner he losses by 11 points.

    now the north fulton turnout. if you you take fulton county COMPLETLY OUT of the primary, handel still wins. in head to head without fulton county she took 54% of the vote.

    from a mo-jo perspective she also picked up bailey and martin endorsements. on political vine someone said that bailey has been out at events actively supporting handel.

    nothing is ever in the bag in a run-off, but stephens has a lot to overcome to win.

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    And I would just point to Doctor Bullock’s assesment as well, since he has a researched paper out on runoff elections. Per his scientific analysis (which I’m more likely to believe than Mr. Towery), candidates that advance to a runoff with a10% or more lead over the #2 candidate win the runoff over 70% of the time.

    Stephens is not doing anything more than what he did in the last weeks of the primary, except that this time he has no money to run attack ads on the radio. From what I can gather, after the primary he was calling every man-jack in the Senate to solicit funds for the runoff, and not very successfully if my sources are correct.

    His campaign is down, and these are overwhelming odds to overcome. He will not make it through next Tuesday, and you can take that to the bank.

  3. Demonbeck says:

    I am surprised that Bill Simon has not responded with this yet…

    “Bill Stephens IS a big ‘mo”

  4. conservativecore says:

    Bullock said Roy would be re-elected govenor. IA said Reed would win and Lamutt was a shoe in. The fact is the race is a crap shoot.

    Oh and Bill Simon didn’t get permission to post anything from his “partner” yet.

  5. RonaldJFehr says:

    There is a hard and fast rule in run-offs that can tell you if a candidate still has legs. This is the RNC tool that works in every instance in which an incumbent has not been forced into a run-off: (Works in Stephens/Handel Kemp/Black Hecht/Martin etc.)

    Take the distance the first place candidate is from a majority, in this case that is

    50% -44%= 6%

    Subtract those 6 points from the first place finisher’s total

    44%-6%= 38%

    If the second place finisher is between 38% and 44% they have a shot at winning, outside of 38% they have to pick up more than 2 votes for every one the first place candidate receives in order to be victorious in the run-off.

    This spells bad news for Stephens and Kemp. The Democratic run-offs are much closer, and there is no clear favorite in LG, SOS or The 4th District.

  6. BB says:

    If Stephens had Mo, he would not have used his first question of Karen to ask yet again about the partner benefits questionnaire for the 935th time during this afternoon’s debate.

    Bill comes across as the mop-up relief pitcher coming into a late inning game down by 10 runs with no chance of victory. Just toss a couple of pitches hoping to fool a few batters then hit the shower. He should have stuck with the safe senate seat.

    Just my humble opinion.

  7. portman08 says:

    I heard Sen. Stephens speak at the Cobb GOP breakfast July 15
    back when I was young we were taught that Girls go first, well at the morning breakfast Bill spoke before Karen and as soon as finished talking he ran out so he wouldn’t have to listen to other candidates. This tells me that he is to busy talking to listen.

  8. techtrack says:

    i just recieved the latest email from the handel campaign. it’s amazing the lies stephens will tell. he accuses handel of increasing spending in fulton county by $28 BILLION. that’s almost $10 BILLION more than the state budget.

    why would we want to put him in charge of the elections process?

  9. portman08 says:

    The Stephens campaign is trying to find dig up anything on Karen Handle.
    This is typical of a campaign that can’t get traction off there own accomplishments.

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