Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball Says Georgia “Leans Republican”

Leans huh?  In the Crystal Ball scale, that’s not as good as Georgia being “Likely Republican”, which we were until his latest update.  Why the downgrade Professor Sabato, why?

There are a number of factors. With no incumbent in the Georgia contest, the GOP will spend a lot of money figuring out who its nominee will be in 2014. Meanwhile, non-profit executive Michelle Nunn (D) has no competition for the Democratic nomination, and she raised $1.7 million this past quarter, more than all of the Republican contenders save businessman David Perdue (R), though Perdue gave himself $1 million en route to raising $1.8 million. Nunn could very well have more money than her eventual general election opponent, and that individual could be Reps. Paul Broun or Phil Gingrey, each of whom are possibly too conservative and gaffe-prone for even conservative Georgia. Another factor: While we unfortunately do not have 2012 exit polling from Georgia, its demographics have been slowly changing in favor of Democrats, similarly to how Virginia and North Carolina have also been trending Democratic. Georgia remains the least Democratic of the three states, but it should become more open to Democrats over time. Perhaps Nunn — and a poor Republican nominee — will speed along the state’s change.

Our neighbor to the North (that other Carolina – the one that says “Vinegar on BBQ is good, and understands mustard sauce is an affront to God”) saw a similar downgrade, but from “toss up” to “leans Democratic”.  There, incumbent Senator Kay Hagan was expected to face a tough re-election campaign (and still may), but backlash to GOP moves with their new General Assembly majorities coupled with recent falling post-shutdown polls and things look better for Senator Hagan at the moment.

Notice the trend?  If the GOP wants to take back the Senate, it may – just may, want to get its act and message together.

Side note, if you’re not following Larry Sabato on twitter, you’re missing out.  There are lots of great political discussion between @LarrySabato and @StayPuft over political and constitutional matters.  That’s right, UVA’s preeminent political scientist has ongoing discussions with a twitter parody account of the Marshmallow Monster from Ghostbusters.  And they’re awesome.

While we’re at it, Hat Tip to @Mi_OSullivan for that find a while back.  Follow him too for decent political insight and good finds of other unique happenings on the twitter.



  1. Ed says:

    I know she essentially has no opposition but she does have *marginal* opposition and when you’re making forecasts of campaigns and you’re not fully abreast of the campaigns… it might perhaps question your ability to accurate analyze said race.

      • John Konop says:

        Obamacare could be a catch 22……if they get it together and people get a better deal it could backfire on the GOP…..From the few people I know who used it they did save money relative to their new rate quotes and got preexisting condition covered.

        Rubber will meet the road if the system does not aggressively deal with cost better…..but it seems niether sed has the guts……they would rather scream killing grandma of the left and death panels on the right….great politics, but the strategy is destroying our country.

      • tdk790 says:

        Heh. So she’s at excelled at the one thing that comes with being anointed by the DSCC, etc.? What an accomplishment!

        • benevolus says:

          I’m sure she can hire a consultant with all that money to refine her message for you. Give her a chance.

  2. FormerRepub says:

    The support for Michele Nunn from Independents (and some moderate Republicans) seems to be growing. Georgia Republicans have underestimated the damage the national Tea Party has done to the Republican party.

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    Nunn’s chances in my book are yet pretty close to her starting 1 in 8 point, meaning GA is likely Republican. Current national attention to the GA Senate race reflects there’s not enough to be made of goings on in WY or KY.

    • xdog says:

      Right now I’d say she has maybe 1 chance in 3. If the gop nominee is too stridently crazy that could change. That’s one reason I’m curious about Nunn’s campaigning skills. There’s a lot of fear and anger out there, not all in the tp, and if she can connect with that portion of the electorate in a reasonable way she could surprise. Hope and change, Georgia style.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        1 in 3 rather aligns with Sabato’s leans GOP.

        I commented some time ago that it will take three things for Michele Nunn to win; (1) a big Dem turnout, (2) Broun or Gingrey as the GOP nominee, and (3) Nunn being a good campaigner. I rated crudely rated each at 50-50 at that time (hence the one in 8 chance). I don’t think any of the three factors has changed significantly since then.

  4. Scott65 says:

    If Broun or Gingrey are the nominee Nunn will win. I said it a year ago…looks like Larry Sabato agrees. Its pretty nice here outside the bubble (less stale air). You should all try it sometime.

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