With polling showing a close race for control of the U.S. Senate, national Democratic and Republican organizations are making plans for possible runoffs in Georgia and Louisiana. According to a story published in Politico over the weekend, those plans include hoarding funds and reserving television time and hotel rooms in the two states.
“It’s a very intense period of time,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican who battled in his own runoff race in 1996 when he competed for voters’ attention during the Olympic Games in Atlanta. “You’ve got to recapitalize almost immediately, and it’s a matter of who gets their voters out to the polls.”
That means for Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue, it’s anyone’s guess who would show up to the polls Jan. 6, just after New Year’s Day, when many voters will be tired of constant election-year politics.
Isakson added: “With the runoff the 6th of January, they are having to peak about three or four times within eight months; that’s a big challenge.”
Louisiana’s jungle primary almost certainly guarantees a runoff between incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu and a Republican challenger, most likely Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy. The Louisiana runoff would be held on Saturday, December 6th. In Georgia, a narrow lead held by Republican David Perdue is narrowing in recent polling, increasing the chances for a runoff.
If Perdue can pull off a win on November 4th, it could complicate a potential runoff in the Governor’s race between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter. Assuming a Senate runoff in January, both Democrats and Republicans would be campaigning hard in November and December for the Senate candidates. Without a runoff, and attention by national Republican and Democratic groups turning to Louisiana, Nathan Deal and Jason Carter would be forced to rely on their own campaign teams to get out the vote.
The gubernatorial runoff is scheduled for December 2nd. The Senate runoff is scheduled for January 6th.