Last week, we reported Charlie Cook’s Political Report rated the Georgia Senate race as a tossup.
This morning, Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com takes a detailed look at the battle for the Senate nationwide, and concludes that there’s a chance of Republicans taking control in November. In the Georgia race to replace the retiring Saxby Chambliss, he predicts a 70% chance of a GOP win. Here’s what he has to say about the race:
Georgia might be the slightly better opportunity for Democrats. The Republican primary, to be held May 20, has been a mess in the polling, with any of five different GOP candidates near the top of the race depending on the survey. Their prospects range from Secretary of State Karen Handel, who might be the strongest general-election nominee, to Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, who have amassed conservative enough voting records that they might turn off swing voters even in red Georgia. Democrats are almost certain to nominate Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, who has run even with or slightly ahead of the Republicans in scant polling so far. Ordinarily, we are skeptical of candidates who lack previous experience in elected office, but those from famous political families don’t have the same name-recognition deficit to overcome and can sometimes tap into their families’ networks to raise funds and staff their campaigns.
Karen Handel, of course, is the former Secretary of State. Despite that small error, Silver is highly regarded for his political predictions. In the 2012 presidential race, he ran the table predicting the outcome in each state. And, note he’s no longer doing his work for the New York Times. This new site, now owned by ESPN, went live last Monday.