In a Switch, WaPo Now Predicts Barrow Win

For months, Republican Congressional candidate Rick Allen has touted a prediction by the Washington Post’s Election Lab that he would knock out Democratic incumbent John Barrow in the 12th District. In an August Facebook post, he even announced triumphantly:

allen barrow

It’s official: John Barrow is the most vulnerable Democrat in Congress.
The Washington Post has already predicted his loss.

Now, that same election model gives Barrow a 74 percent chance of holding his seat.

From the Barrow campaign:

“The term ‘crumbling’ is used to describe Rick Allen’s campaign in nearly every conversation,” said Richard Carbo, spokesman for Friends of John Barrow. “While John Barrow is talking directly with folks in the 12th District about issues that are important to them, Rick Allen is running one of the most negative campaigns in the country. With two weeks to go until the election, we feel stronger than ever and are grateful for the broad support from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents across the district who are tired of the gridlock in Washington.”

The prediction is in line with RealClearPolitics, which also rates the race as “Leans Dem.”

It appears increasingly likely that Barrow, a moderate Democrat, will once again frustrate Republicans’ attempts to take over Georgia’s most competitive Congressional district.


  1. northside101 says:

    Some information about the 12th District:

    In the last 2010 midterm cycle (under its current boundaries), the district averaged 58 percent support for GOP statewide candidates—61 percent for Isakson, 56 each for Deal and Cagle.

    In the 2012 presidential election, Romney took 55 percent in the district while Obama got 44 percent (about a 32,000-vote margin for Romney in this district). Obama of course handily won majority-black Richmond County (Augusta), by about 27,000 votes, but Romney offset much of that by taking a 22,000-vote margin in the Columbia County part of the district (most of Columbia is in CD 12, but a small slice, the more rural part, is in CD 10). Burke was the only other county in the district to back Obama. Romney won by about 4,500 votes each in the district’s third and fourth-largest counties respectively, Bulloch (Statesboro) and Laurens (Dublin). Barrow ran about 22,000 votes ahead of Obama in the district, while Romney ran a stunning 29,000 votes ahead of Lee Anderson.

    Whether Allen or Barrow wins basically boils down to what happens in the roughly half of the district that is outside of the Augusta area (outside of Burke, Columbia and Richmond Counties). Probably affecting the race’s outcome also is how Carter runs in the district (and ditto for Nunn). Probably most of us junkies can agree that both Carter and Nunn will run better than the 41 percent Roy Barnes won in the district four years ago.

    CD 12 is also significant for Carter and Nunn, as it has the highest percentage of black voters of any Romney district in Georgia (one-third of the district’s registered voters are black). Accordingly, CD 12 probably is a district both candidates either must win or come close to winning to either win outright or force a post-Thanksgiving runoff. As I’ve said before, it isn’t likely Carter and Nunn can win outright by just winning the 4 majority-black congressional districts.

    • They need to average 7 points better than Roy to win, which means they don’t need a majority in this district (but could take a plurality). The way the districts are drawn, it is unlikely they’ll win more than the 4 majority black districts even if they win a majority statewide. And the nature of who they are appealing to, I would imagine the 7% would not be spread equally across the districts, and that they might overperform relative to the state gain in Gwinnett, Cobb, North Fulton etc and underperform in rural Savannah.

      Fortunately we don’t have an electoral college based on congressional districts!

  2. Bobloblaw says:

    He is the incumbent and he survived 2010. He’ll win. The GOP will take the district when he retires.

  3. northside101 says:

    Barrow represented a much different district in 2010—42 percent black in voter registration. Republicans took Democratic-leaning portions of Chatham out in redistricting and added most of heavily GOP Columbia County into the district. Accordingly, Barrow’s CD 12 today has about 33,000 fewer registered black voters than he had in the old CD 12 four years ago, and about 20,000 more registered whites. His current district is about one-third black in voter registration.

    Barrow’s district is the only one of Georgia’s 14 congressional districts that in 2012 split their ticket for US House and president (in other words, voting for candidates of different parties in each race, in this case, Barrow for Congress and Romney for president). All 4 Democratic-held districts in Georgia backed Obama, and all 9 GOP-held districts backed Romney.

    Nationwide (according to a February 2013 article in National Journal), 96 percent of Democratic US House members represent districts carried by Obama, and 94 percent of Republican congressmen and women represent districts won by Romney. Not surprisingly then, there aren’t that many seats “up for grabs” this year—which is why GOP control of the US House is not in question, only the size of the margin (whether they can approach 250 seats in that chamber, which would be a post World War 2 record for them.)

  4. MattMD says:

    Maybe Rick Allen should have gone the route of putting his name on a signs along with, I dunno, a Combine or something.

    • Al Gray says:

      Some wags were eager to put a chicken on it, when it looked like Allen was backing out of that Evans debate.

  5. Jon Lester says:

    I think voters just don’t trust those candidates who spend more of their own money running for office than they would be paid for serving, whether it’s Ross Perot, Guy Millner or Mitt Romney. Would-be kingmakers have had plenty of time to learn this.

    • Harry says:

      I don’t trust politicians who spend more of other peoples’ contributions, because it means on some level they’re more likely to have been bought. Incidentally, Barrow has raised 2x as much as Allen.

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