Over at the New York Times, Nate Cohn takes a look at the numbers in the Georgia Senate race, and concludes it’s unlikely that Michelle Nunn can win. Why? Because she’s not likely to win enough of the white vote.
For all of the justifiable focus on the rapid pace of demographic change in Georgia, the reality was always that Ms. Nunn needed to come near 30 percent of the white vote to have a shot at breaking 50 percent, even under the most optimistic scenarios for black turnout. But the most recent polls give Ms. Nunn only around 25 percent of the white vote.
A favorable turnout among blacks might well be unfolding for Democrats — the black share of early voters has matched that from 2012 — but with 25 or 26 percent of the white vote that’s probably enough for Ms. Nunn to receive only around 47 or 48 percent in total after allocating undecided voters.
Of course, there’s more to the story. Nunn has done better than any Democrat over the last decade in attracting the votes of whites, even though it won’t be enough to win in 2014. But then, this warning:
What should be very concerning to Republicans, however, is that Ms. Nunn would probably win Georgia if the electorate were as diverse as it probably will be in 2016. A Democrat could conceivably win by then with just 23 percent of the white vote — about what John Kerry received in 2004. Ms. Nunn’s showing might not help Democrats in their pursuit of retaining the Senate, but it has increased the odds that the state will be a presidential battleground in 2016.