Why Republicans Expect a Wide-open Senate Race

This article by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy is basically a summary of various posts and comments made here on PP over the last couple of weeks; it’s a nice lil Sunday afternoon read.  Here are some highlights:

  • The Republican Party’s nightmare scenario is a U.S. Senate race so crowded and divisive that Democrats have a shot at the bruised-and-battered eventual nominee.
  • National GOP groups are wary of being seen as interfering, and influential state politicians are staying on the sidelines. Gov. Nathan Deal, perhaps the only state figure who can play kingmaker, has relayed to several potential challengers who made pilgrimages to his office that he’ll avoid behind-the-scenes tampering.
  • “I have been asked if I would be the one that would mediate among my friends,” Deal told the AJC in an interview. “I do not value that role and nor will I assume that role.”
  • Democrats are pursuing a very different strategy. State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon said the party is trying to coalesce around one candidate in the next few weeks. Potential candidates include U.S. Rep. John Barrow, of Augusta, and Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn.
  • Sue Everhart, the head of the Georgia Republican Party, said she expects a messy race to produce a strong candidate who can raise the $12 million she said is needed to run a solid statewide campaign. … Trying to winnow the field is “not the Republican way,” she said. “I’m not concerned about it. I think that the right people will emerge. The party won’t be playing favorites to anyone.”
  • That’s not to say other groups won’t try. American Crossroads, a deep-pocketed group co-founded by Karl Rove, recently made waves by announcing it would form a new political action committee in an effort to boost more “electable” Republican candidates in 2014. The Tea Party Patriots responded by announcing a Super PAC of its own for more conservative hopefuls.
  • “The Republicans haven’t figured this out yet,” Sabato said. “They’ve tried both ways and they’ve suffered in both circumstances. In 2010 they got involved (in primaries) and the tea party ran all over them and nominated candidates that lost in the fall. And last time around they stayed out of the process and then bad candidates were nominated and they lost anyway. They can’t win for losing.”



  1. novicegirl says:

    Let’s be honest, the Democrats strategy is to nominate a decent candidate, and then pray for Broun, so after the Primary, their nominee can spend the following six months asking him about censoring biology textbooks, rape and dinosaurs.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      I’d say that’s a winning strategy, for sure. The idea that a “chosen one” candidate is the best strategy isn’t a winner, though. It’ll be a battle-tested Republican with name I.D. vs. a cream puff.

    • John Konop says:

      They might be thinking long term as well. With the demographics changing, and if Hillary runs , that candidate could have real shot in the next election. This election could be about setting up the name recognition and organization for the next election. I think a strong female candidate, with Hillary on the ticket could make for an interesting race.

  2. 1Timothy6:10 says:

    Democrats would be wise to pick a centrist candidate to be in step with right-leaning Georgians, and stop worrying what the GOP is doing; they’ve done an excellent job so far painting themselves into the far right corner. Saxby actually had some appeal to the left. Dubose Porter should be considered, as should Jason Carter. (The Carter family has shown they can “come from behind”) . You can bet both sides are going to be looking at how their candidates stand on ethics reform in Georgia.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      “You can bet both sides are going to be looking at how their candidates stand on ethics reform”

      Funny you put “bet” and “ethics” in the same place, since both passed muster at the polls this past Primary. However, I’m wondering why you’re putting your money on a “stand” on “ethics reform”?

      Whose ethics do you want to reform and what ethics should replace those?

    • SingingLawyer says:

      “You can bet both sides are going to be looking at how their candidates stand on ethics reform in Georgia.”

      Yes, because a U.S. Senator has a lot of say in state ethics rules.

  3. ARAR says:

    the Georgia should start now to change the GOP primary rules and move to a convention to elect the Republican Nominee for US Senate. otherwise we will have a bloodbath, see a bunch of money spent, split the party and the Dems will win…

  4. Bull Moose says:

    I think there are a few Democrats who would be worth considering: Dubose Porter, Cathy Cox, John Barrow, Jim Marshall, Jason Carter, Thurbert Baker

    On the Republican side, there are a few Republicans who aren’t tainted by so much scandal, baggage, or controversy: Karen Handel, Casey Cagle, Gary Black, David Shafer, Tom Price.

    In my opinion, Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey are unelectable. And Jack Kingston is nearly unelectable given his 22 years already in Washington with not much to show for it.

  5. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    The consideration of presumably more conservative Democrats like John Barrow and Michelle Nunn is an encouraging sign that Georgia Democrats are trying to moderate their message by looking at candidates that can appeal to the center-right and help them better compete statewide.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        I could see how that might be a valid concern for some onlookers, though one would have to assume that in the current political climate that any potential gains at the statewide level would be greatly appreciated by Georgia Democrats as a whole.

  6. IndyInjun says:

    “Sue Everhart, …said …..The party won’t be playing favorites to anyone.””


    Does she not remember that it was SHE who discouraged any GOP challenge to Chambliss in 2006?

    Hacks in the ‘leadership’ are not the ticket out either.

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