FiveThirtyEight on what to watch for in Senate returns

An interesting post today by Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight: What to Watch For in Georgia’s Republican Senate Primary.

On recent primary polling history in Georgia:

Some contests are harder to survey than others — and primary polling is often awful – but pollsters have done well in the past three major GOP primaries in Georgia. It might be a fluke, but in those past three high-profile statewide races, just one of 11 major candidates has seen more than a 3-point difference between his vote share and his projected polling percentage (with undecideds allocated proportionally).

The polling in this race has been surprisingly stable, and that should mean a good night for David Perdue — and for either Karen Handel or Jack Kingston.

And on a county to watch:

Gwinnett will probably be the most telling. It has a ton of votes (9 percent of the total in the 2010 gubernatorial primary), and in every major competitive statewide primary since 2008, the vote there was within 5 percentage points of the statewide vote for all of the top three candidates. In other words, the vote in Gwinnett is a good indicator for how things will shake out (although it’s worth noting that Broun represents a small portion of the county).

Given the closeness of the polling for second place and various regional factors at play, it will be interesting to see if this pattern holds.


  1. Will Durant says:

    Haven’t you been reading all of the screeds on here? Gwinnett is nothing but carpetbaggers and Mexicans. Ain’t no “real Georgians” left here.

  2. northside101 says:

    Yep, Broun indeed has only a very small part of Gwinnett—of the roughly 397,000 active registered voters last time (Nov 2012 general election) in that county, less than 37,000 were in CD 10. Vast majority in CD 7 (Woodall) and smaller portion in CD 4 (Hank Johnson). Gwinnett usually is second (close second) to Cobb in GOP primary voting, though Gingrey likely would be expected to take Cobb tonight given a large portion of his district is there. Interesting to see what East Cobb does in the primary—Gingrey has never represented much of East Cobb (most of that traditionally has been in CD 6). I don’t get the impression that the typical Gwinnett Republican is as far right as Broun, with the Peachtree Corners area (northwest Gwinnett, bordering Dunwoody) probably the most moderate part of the county among Republicans (Romney territory in the 2012 presidential primary)

    I suspect 250,000 votes would certainly get you a runoff spot in the GOP Senate primary tonight, maybe even just 200,000 or a bit lower. In 2010, Handel (primary for governor) got about 232,000 votes, Deal 156,000 for second. About 680,000 votes were cast in that contest.

    Any guesses on some legislative races, like House 54 (Buckhead seat being vacated by Ed Lindsey), Senate 27 in Forsyth County (Jack Murphy) and 33 (Steve Thompson)?

    CD 10 primary (to replace Broun) should be interesting—haven’t seen any TV ads (paid ads on network) for any of the candidates, but it is such a spread-out district, paid TV would not make much sense in that 25-county district. Walton County will probably be the biggest voting county (maybe about one out of 6 district votes coming from there), but Barrow, Oconee and the Newton/Henry portions of the district also worth watching. Not many primary votes in CD 10 east of Athens and Madison (some of the Augusta area is in 10, but vast majority is in CD 12)

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