Upshot: Perdue Likely to Win #GASen, Maybe Without a Runoff

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.

10 comments

  1. jh says:

    I think Nate is putting too much stock in the most recent polls, which have come from pollsters that haven’t done any polls in Georgia before (Marist, Monmouth). There is no baseline to compare to.

    SurveyUSA had Nunn with 26% of the white vote early summer, and now she’s at 28%, before the 4% undecided white votes. Same story with Landmark. Worst case, even if she peels off just a few undecided, she’s up to 29%, which could be enough for an outright victory with high black turnout.

    • Bobloblaw says:

      “”which could be enough for an outright victory with high black turnout.””
      sorry, aint gonna happen. I doubt anyone in the top two races gets 50% plus 1, but certainly not the Dems. You realize youre ignoring every single poll? No poll has her ahead much less getting 50%.

      Also looks like the libertarians will get a lower % of the vote than anytime in the past 10 years at least. Makes sense. If the races are close, people take their votes more seriously.

      • Except for the nearly 1,000,000 early voters who are by far more Democratic by demographic than any likely voter model out there. In 2010 and 2012, early voters were within 1% of the final racial turnout.

  2. Elliott2483 says:

    Maybe the Demoncraps should shake their sticks the back of liquor stores, crack dens and heroin shooting gallery’s to round up their usual astute voting block that knows what is going on in the world.

  3. Noway says:

    Agreed. Perdue wins outright tomorrow night. I’m surprised we did not see ads showing Dem candidates having their faces morph into Obama’s like the way they did with Clinton in ’94. That tactic was hugely effective back in the day.

  4. Oddly, I have to agree with Bobloblaw on this one to some degree, but not for the reasons stated. There has been a shift among white voters toward Perdue over the weekend and this puts him within real striking distance to win.

    Throughout the summer and fall, the Democratic candidates led the GOP ones as the bruises of the runoff and rough headlines had to heal. The statewide Democrats were winning 27-30% of the white vote at various times, enough to secure a runoff or possibly even win. But not any more.

    That said, we not show Perdue with a majority in our surveys, falling just short at 49.8% in our final one. (Note: I realize that the polling aggregators have to simplify the numbers for posting purpose and therefore have to show Landmark’s number for Perdue as “50%”, but our survey actually didn’t reflect that — it was 49.8 for Perdue, falling below 50%.

    All over the country there has been a shift toward the GOP in the final days. It seems to have been weaker and later here in Georgia than elsewhere, though the final week has moved the ball toward the goal line for GOP candidates.

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