Post your predictions here. A few of mine, along with some random thoughts:
I continue to believe that Karen Handel is in a runoff for Governor. I frankly have no idea who she’s going to face. I have a hard time believing the polls that Ox has fallen as far and fast as they say. Two reasons that it could be true:
1) His support has always been a mile wide but an inch deep, and
2) His decision to go exclusively negative during the final week.
Consequently, Eric Johnson may have been the primary beneficiary of Deal and Ox going exclusively negative. Anyone turned off by them but not willing to vote Handel may have become an EJ voter courtesy of Ox and Deal’s media buys. I still think most late polls over-correct.
My gut tells me that it’s 1) Handel, then Ox and Deal within 2% of each other, with Johnson close but still 4th. Frankly, Georgia is better served if it’s Handel vs. Johnson. The Republican Party is better served if it’s Handel vs. Oxendine. A quote I’ll steal from a good friend: “John Oxendine is the one man that can unite the GA Republican Party. Unfortunately, it is not in the way he would want.”
Gut call: Handel vs. Oxendine.
I’ll admit my gut may be affected by that being the matchup I want. And as I was writing this, I received some data indicating late deciders are breaking between Handel and Deal.
I’ve compared this race to Alabama once before. 2nd and 3rd place were decided by about 140 votes. It could be a late night.
I’m very interested in looking at the power of the “grassroots” vs the power of the establishment, and there are two races that I will use as proxies: SOS and Insurance Commissioner.
I think there are a bunch of candidates fighting to be in a runoff with Maria Sheffield right now. She needs to hope that my gut is wrong, and that Ox isn’t in the runoff if she is. Same for Tim Echols. Woe to all of them if all three are in a runoff. They just created a “ticket” for their opponants, and they won’t be on the winning side of it.
I think Mark Butler’s robocalls raised his name ID more than he ever hoped it would. The name ID appears to be 100% negative, however.
I’m interested to see if Clay Cox was able to retain his outsider/insider coalition. He should be close to winning GA-7 without a runoff.
Likewise, I’m looking to see how many votes Tom Graves picked out of Hall, Dawson, and Lumpkin now that he’s establishement in GA-9, and how many he loses in Dade and Catoosa to Steve Tarvin for that same reason. Graves finishes a strong first. I still think Tarvin may be in 2nd this time around. Not 100% sure there’s a runoff here, however.
Austin Scott skates easily in GA-8.
GA-12 has been completely off our radar, but I’m thinking Ray McKinney is the decided front runner, though that race has gotten more interesting in the last week.
Several State Senators are facing primaries. Wiles and Hill have received scares. Balfour doesn’t want any more tough questions. Mullis isn’t scared. All four probably return.
Gwinnett has a lot of house races being contested. Josh Clark vs. Wayne Hill is the battle to watch old guard/new blood. I expect Josh, Buzz, and Brett Harrell in the house from the Gwinnett delegation next year.
I won’t pretend to know what’s going on in the Democratic primary, with one exception. It appears that the Barnes Machine wants Ken Hodges to beef up turnout in SW GA. It’s an interesting proposition as the top of the ticket appears to be based on gender/racial diversity, while the down ballot races appear to be centered geographicly on Middle and South GA. By taking on Hodges, however, the Dems cede ethics as a major November issue.