Random Thoughts On Today’s Runoffs

At the end of an election cycle it’s very easy to be jaded.  Heck, that’s my default position.  But the first note today goes out to Mike Beaudreau and P.K. Martin, who face off today to see who will be representing Gwinnett County in the State Senate.  I like them both, and have avoided this runoff where possible.  I applaud both of them for running.  It isn’t easy to take on a powerful incumbent.  Harder still when he has over a half million dollars to spend.  Both of these men put their name on the line, and I applaud both for doing so.  Whichever one wins will make a fine Senator.

I voted this morning in Marietta at 8:45am.  I was the 37th voter.  I was the 36th Republican.  Only one Democratic ballot had been cast.  While this may not seem unusual, I do live in a precinct represented by Steve Thompson.  I have Democratic neighbors.  But unlike May 20th when the Democrats pulled about 20% of the votes in my precinct, they don’t appear interested in voting today.  My guess is DeKalb county, with it’s contested Sheriff’s race, will largely decide who the Democratic nominee for State School Superintendent is.

As for the Georgia Senate Race, I’m looking at the core suburban Atlanta counties.  Kingston has virtually all of the GOP network on his side, from Tea Party to “establishment” – whatever that means.  Perdue will need to do exceptionally well in the suburbs where people are more likely to be swayed by ads than direct interaction with a candidate and/or his supporters.   Y’all have seen the same polls I have.  My gut still tells me Jack takes this one.

I think by 8pm we’ll all be able to start guessing what Bob Barr’s next career move is.  Feel free to avoid the rush and start now if you like.

I’ll admit I haven’t been on the ground as much as usual in GA-1 and GA-10, and won’t claim to know what’s going to happen here.  I expect GA-10 to be the last Congressional race called tonight.  I expect GA-1 to be slightly closer than it should be, given the late Club for Growth play in that race.

Feel free to share you own observations, experiences, or other pontifications below.


  1. northside101 says:

    To win, Perdue probably has to “run up the score” in metro Atlanta. He probably won’t prevail today if metro Atlanta is split about 50/50 or if he only has a slight majority there. Perdue ran far ahead of Kingston north of Interstate 20 in May, leading him in that part of the state by 2-1, but of course that was in a split field (7 candidates), a time when Kingston did not have to do particularly well in the northern portion of the state to make the runoff. Win or lose, Perdue will get a higher percentage north of I-2o than south of there, given Kingston’s base in his home Cong District 1 (where as widely reported he got 75% there May 20, the only 1 of the state’s 14 cong. districts to give a majority to any candidate in that primary) and Kingston’s likely advantages in the adjoining 8th and 12th Districts (respectively Austin Scott and John Barrow).

    In the May 20 primary, an estimated 57 percent of the roughly 605,000 votes cast in the GOP Senate primary came from precincts north of I-20 (amounting to roughly 345,000 votes north of 20 and 260,000 south of there). That was down from 60 percent in the 2010 primary for governor, when about 410,000 votes were cast north of 20 and about 270,000 south of there. Accordingly, the vast majority of the decline in the GOP primary vote between 2010-2014 was due to lower turnout north of 20—which was a factor in Kingston, and not Handel, earning a spot in the runoff today with David Perdue. (Any thoughts/comments as to why this decline was focused north of 20 are greatly appreciated!)

    In CD 11 (Barr/Loudermilk), Barr likely needs a big win in Cobb to prevail over Loudermilk, and a critical question for him is how much of the district’s votes come from Cobb vs. Cherokee? The Cobb portion of the 11th District has a lot more people than Cherokee, but the Cobb portion became a bit less Republican in 2011 redistricting because the district picked up some Democratic precincts in Marietta and Smyrna (though the 11th still remains a heavily GOP district). But in the May 20 primary, Cobb only slightly outvoted Cherokee. If Loudermilk either wins Cobb or comes close or relatively close to doing so (say 46-49% vicinity), then he is the next congressman, and then as Charlie stated above, Barr begins pondering his next career move.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Some of the decline in GOP primary voter turnout north of I-20 might be because of the multiple recent ethics scandals in GOP powerhouse Gwinnett County. The multiple ethics scandals seem to have had a chilling effect on support for the GOP in one of its most dominant counties.

  2. Raleigh says:

    I think Bob Barr is going to take over for a retiring Jerry Springer. Remember you heard it here first.

  3. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    Bob Barr opens Libertarian Book Store complete with life-size cut out of Ayn Rand to pose with. Right next to the Brumby Rocking Chair Co on the Square in Marietta, just to piss them off.

  4. xdog says:

    Anecdotally, it’s been a very slow day at the polls in Oconee. I saw empty lots early, not many more when I voted around 1 and not many 30 minutes ago. Number of signs was way down too and that’s with a contested commissioner race too.

    There were 2 Hice supporters testing the 150 foot limit. I wasn’t the only one to notice; they got shooed away by a poll-worker.

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