Here in Georgia, we’ve been talking about the possibility of a runoff in at least one of the two marquee races since at least July. With early voting starting on Monday and recent poll results continuing to show a tight contest between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Repubican David Perdue, along with consistent support for Libertarian Amanda Swafford in the 4-5% range, the national media is paying more attention to the idea.
The latest is the Washington Examiner‘s Betsy Woodruff, who this morning contemplates a possible nightmare scenario, especially if Georgia’s race will decide control of the Senate.
One Georgian quoted in the story isn’t sure Swafford is going to end up with the number of votes needed to force the race into overtime:
Debbie Dooley, a member of the Tea Party Patriots board of directors, said she thinks enough undecided voters will line up behind Perdue to let him pull off a win without a runoff. Dooley said that while she thinks Swafford is “an excellent candidate,” the national implications of the race will discourage voters from backing the libertarian. And Swafford’s fundraising troubles are her biggest weakness.
“Were that to change, that could change the whole dynamic,” Dooley added.
Dooley also said there is residual bad blood toward Perdue among some grassroots activists because he once belittled Republican primary contender Karen Handel for not having a college degree. Perdue later called Handel to apologize, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. But Dooley said that not everyone has moved on.
“But none of that is causing the heartburn that Harry Reid is causing,” she added.
Some of the most recent polling in the race shows the gap between Perdue and Nunn tightening. The Public Policy Polling survey was conducted prior to the revelation of a deposition by David Perdue in which he talked about his role in outsourcing jobs for Pillowtex. The SurveyUSA poll out this week was partially conducted over last weekend, which means the Perdue news could have affected the results.
And both polls were taken before Tuesday’s Senate debate in Perry, which provided the Libertarian candidate with the biggest stage so far to define herself to voters.