Jeff’s latest column that for some reason he saw no reason to link to here, makes the case I was making about the poll numbers.
As of last week, Perdue had a surprisingly comfortable lead in most polls – 19 in Mason-Dixon, 13 in Strategic Vision. But there are similarities to the 2002 gubernatorial contest which should serve as warning to the Perdue campaign, and to Georgia Republicans.
Four years ago, incumbent Democrat Gov. Roy Barnes was running for re-election. He had a commanding double-digit lead in the polls throughout the fall, carrying an 11-point advantage into election week. But a rising tide of displeasure with Barnes throughout the state – particularly from supporters of keeping the Confederate battle flag on the state flag – and a pro-Republican national climate – the GOP gained seats in both the House and Senate that year – combined to lift the challenger, Perdue, to a remarkable and unexpected victory.
This is not 2002, and Sonny Perdue is not Roy Barnes. But Perdue is now the incumbent, and must stand on his record and ideological credentials – neither of which is stellar – in the face of a concerted effort to dethrone him.