I know the runoff was nearly a week ago – an eternity in political time – but I found some numbers interesting on runoff night at around 2 AM that are still of interest to me today and nobody has really commented on them. Going into the runoff, I actually predicted a Deal win of 51-49 and made a few nominal bets around the office that will probably never be collected on. So I was right about that, and so were a lot of people out there who sensed that Deal had the momentum. But one thing I was wrong about was how I internally calculated that result. I assumed Handel would win the core metro counties of Atlanta by a huge margin and that Deal would roll up a similarly huge margin elsewhere.
In reality, Deal won the counties that contained all or portions of his Congressional district with 61%. Counties not in the 9th district he actually lost with 48%. What about Handel’s base? I define that as Fulton and DeKalb, two counties that had huge Republican turnout for Karen. She got a whopping 68% in these two counties, and similar to Deal got 48% in the other 157 counties.
And when you look at each of their bases above and then all the parts of the state that weren’t in each’s respective base, you see Deal getting 61% in his base, Handel getting 68% in hers, and the rest of the state splitting 51/49 for Deal. Even though my topline prediction was right, Georgia Republican voters took a route to get there that was much different than what I, and I assume many others, had imagined. What about y’all?