Decision Day 2014 – Place. Your. Bets.

There are only two types of predictions in politics, the ones that are lucky and the ones that are wrong.” -Mike Hassinger

We’ve all seen the polls and argued about the cross-tabs. We’ve all speculated about the accuracy of the various polling outfits. We’ve all argued about the percentage of African American turnout until we’re blue in the keyboards. Today, however, is the day when political trash-talkers have the opportunity to put up -or shut up.

This is the only post on Peach Pundit today. (This evening, we’ll post a live feed of 11 Alive’s livestream which will focus mostly on Georgia election results from 7pm to midnight. Follow along in the comments and watch the lucky expert analysis of our Editor in Chief Charlie Harper) You, our commenters, have the opportunity to call whatever races you you want, with as much specificity as you can muster. It’s time to cull professionals from cheerleaders. Are you a real professional with special insight? Tell us. Say so publicly, right here on Peach Pundit. We are all going on the record, and you have the opportunity to match your political predictive ability against that of our editors and our commenters. Do you have what it takes?

Hassinger, FOR THE RECORD: Deal/Carter. Deal wins, 51%. Perdue/Nunn: Runoff. All Republicans down-ticket win, except for Richard Woods for State School Superintendent, who should be appointed anyway.

Harper,  “Look people, I honestly have no idea.”  Deal and Perdue ultimately win.  But my gut still tells me Perdue will need a runoff to get there.  I think Deal can close the deal tomorrow night.  John Barrow remains a Congressman, as well as one of the luckiest men alive.  I agree with Mike that the School Super race is the only down ballot race that will be close.  I don’t think enough people are paying attention, however, to keep Richard Woods from prevailing.  I’m voting for Woods – Billy Woods – the officially registered write in candidate.  Kay Hagan wins in NC.  Jean Shaheen wins in NH.  Media will try to spin that and late GA count to say Dems will hold the Senate.  They’ll receive comfort in that until the R’s take Colorado – and ultimately the US Senate.

Brockway I’ll admit I’m an eternal optimist and thus through my Pachyderm colored glasses I’ll tell you what’s going to happen tonight: Deal and Perdue win without a runoff. Deal does better than Perdue so I’ll say Deal 52, Carter 45, Hunt 3. Perdue squeaks by 50.1 to Nunn’s 46, while Swafford pulls 3.9. I think Richard Woods is in trouble and may indeed lose, but it will be close either way – I know a number of pro-school choice Republicans who voted for Wilson assuming it will be easier to isolate her than Woods since both will fight any attempt to advance choice in education. Other down ballot races are wins for the GOP – a few might be closer than the Deal/Carter race. I think John Barrow survives because he always does, though it might be closer this time. No GOP State Senator falls though we may have a few upsets in the State House. Since they’re my colleagues I won’t name names but some Republicans will go down to the wire tonight and so will some Democrats. Ultimately I think the GOP prevails for several factors: 1) Yes, Obama is not on the ballot but his policies are. The President’s policies are always on the ballot and right now, this President’s policies aren’t popular. 2) The GOP has a stronger field of candidates this year, mostly because we have the power of incumbency on our side, and 3) While there are Republicans discontent with the GOP at every level, most of them prefer a squishy RINO to a Democrat any day of the week. So rest easy everyone, the Republicans will still be in charge for at least two more years.

Turkheimer: Nunn gets the most votes but is forced into a runoff with Perdue. If Nunn/Perdue is not for control of the Senate and the Republicans have the majority (and that will happen), Nunn will win the runoff. Deal finishes first at 49.7, Carter at 46 and change, and we get more free baseball/elections. Hecht comes up short in the AG race but is closest among non state school superintendent elections. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. Whether it bends fast enough for Val will be a matter settled close to midnight. Democrats win New Hampshire and North Carolina, but by the time North Carolina is called the Senate is lost. Bruce Braley in Iowa loses narrowly, sealing the fate of the good guys. John Barrow survives yet again, this time with 50.8%.


Richards Despite the optimistic analysis of the latest polls, I think the Perdue/Nunn race goes into overtime, and that in the end, Perdue wins. Deal is really close to an outright win on Tuesday, but could still get in to a December runoff.

In the down ballot races, it’s GOP except for the State School Super’s race, where Valarie Wilson scrapes enough GOP votes to win. Here in Gwinnett County, Lynette Howard wins her Commission race. P.K. Martin cruises to victory in Don Balfour’s old seat, which is drawn to favor Republicans. In the House contested races, Joyce Chandler wins re-election in District 105, although not overwhelmingly. Other winners include Tom Rice in HD 85, Scott Holcomb in HD86 against Jim Duffie, and Buzz Brockway in HD 102. In House District 94, which includes precincts in DeKalb and Gwinnett, Brad Young squeaks out a narrow victory against incumbent Karen Bennett.



      • rpurvis says:

        Oh yeah, forgot about him. Last white Democrat from the Deep South falls then (Florida doesn’t count)…. It’s early in the morning and I’m not fully functional.

  1. Noway says:

    Deal and Perdue both win outright. Where is the best place to watch election returns tonight? Meaning channels 2, 5, 11, where?

    • Charlie says:

      We will livestream a feed from 11Alive here, which will include more than you will see on the air. (i.e., none of the networks will ditch prime time coverage tonight (until 10pm), but you can see coverage here from 7pm on (not really sure what they’re showing in the feed from 7-8, but close enough…)

  2. benevolus says:

    I don’t see how it makes any difference who controls the Senate. The President will veto anything he doesn’t like and they won’t be able to override.
    Georgia governor is more important I think. But even if Jason loses, either him or Kasim will be a strong candidate next time around.

  3. Michael Silver says:

    I thought Pennington would win so I’m completely unqualified to predict election results. However, this being PP

    ….. Deal 50.001%, Perdue 52%, Cobb SPLOST passes by 20 votes. Deal finds out that the churches he sided with against gun-owners nearly defeated him.

    …. In my beloved Colorado, gun-banning bastard Hickenlooper loses Gov and Republican Gardner wins.

    ….. Dems keep control of the Senate.

    • therightdirection says:

      I’d be shocked if Perdue gets more votes than Deal, let along 2 percentage points.

      I’d also be shocked if the GOP doesn’t win control of the Senate.

  4. James Hall says:

    First off, I think that the negative tone of our high profile Senate race will result in a low voter turnout on BOTH sides as both candidates essentially campaigned against their opponents instead of campaigning for themselves. This, of course, will impact other races. Now, my predictions….

    -Deal will win re-election by 51%. In the end, his status as incumbent will be just enough for him to avoid a runoff.
    -Ultimately, Perdue will win the Senate seat. However, the race will go into a runoff.
    -All other state wide, down ballot Republican candidates….including Woods…will be re-elected. I agree with Charlie that not enough people are paying attention. If people are struggling to pay attention to the races at the top of the ballot, then do we really expect them to pay attention to down ballot races?

    • Chet Martin says:

      If early voting is any indication of voting today, that won’t be a problem. 900,000 early votes were cast, 200,000 more than in 2010

  5. Three Jack says:

    Governor: Deal wins without a runoff because A> Carter ran a horrible campaign, and B> Apparently GA voters support a person using his/her public office to enhance their own personal wealth along with many close associates.
    Senator: Perdue wins without a runoff because Nunn also ran a less than stellar campaign and allowed a radio ad featuring Obama endorsing her candidacy.
    Cobb SPLOST: Lose. Between TSPLOST support and the handling of the Braves move by commissioners, voters will vote it down.
    GOP wins all down ballot races.
    GOP takes the senate and adds numbers in the house.
    UPSET pick: Brown and Thillis knock off two female dem senators in NH and NC. Like 94, GOP has a big night. Unlike 94, it will not be due to the GOP putting forth a positive, proactive agenda. Obama fatigue dominates.

  6. northside101 says:

    Richards says Brad Young defeats Karen Bennett—really? A district which gave Obama 80 percent in 2012, where Democrats outnumbered Republicans 3-1 in the May 20 primary, is going to elect a Republican state representative? I’d say his odds are like those of Vandy being in the national football championship in January—or Atlanta hitting 100 degrees on Christmas Day…

    Though neither party of course will publicly say who its targets are in the House (the Senate is likely to stay just like it is, a 38-18 margin in favor of the GOP), most likely these are at least some, if not all, of the House contests both parties are watching to see if there is even a modest shift in the numbers:

    The 3 GOP-held State House districts that backed Obama in 2012—HD 105 (Joyce Chandler in eastern Gwinnett) and in southwest Georgia—HD 138 (Mike Cheokas) and HD 151 (Gerald Greene). Chandler’s district is over a third black in voter registration, while Cheokas represents a district that is 42 percent black, Greene slightly over 50. Cheokas won by only about 200 votes last time.

    The open seat of retiring Rep. Carl Von Epps (parts of Coweta, Meriwether and Troup Counties, roughly a triangle between LaGrange, Newnan and Greenville), 43 percent black in voter registration (HD 132). The district narrowly backed Deal in 2010 but also Barnes in 2012.

    In Henry County, HD 111 (Brian Strickland), representing a corridor along I-75 that like Henry overall is trending Democratic. Romney only won a slight majority there in 2012. (Henry County overall gave the second President Bush two-thirds of the vote in 2004, but only 53 for McCain in 2008 and 51 for Romney in 2012).

    In HD 66, Kimberly Alexander has a rematch with Republican Bob Snelling, whom she narrowly defeated in 2012. This district includes parts of Douglas and Paulding Counties and backed Obama last time.

    In north DeKalb/western Gwinnett (I-85 corridor), Republicans will see if Scott Holcombe’s easy win in 2012 was an aberration or something more long-lasting, in a district that favored Republican statewide candidates in 2010 but narrowly backed Obama in 2012.

    In Buckhead’s HD 54 (seat former held by Ed Lindsey), there is a 3-way race between Republican Beth Beskin, Democrat Bob Gibeling and independent Bill Bozarth. Beskin would probably win easily in a 2 way race—Romney after all got 58 percent here in 2012, and the district backed every Republican running statewide in 2010—but question is whether the only 3-way race in the State House goes into overtime? Beskin easily wins the “sign wars” in the more Republican western part of the district—west of Peachtree and Roswell Roads—but some say Bozarth will have strength in the eastern part, like around Garden Hills.

    And in far southwest Georgia, HD 173 (Thomasville area—parts of Decatur and Thomas Counties, all of Grady County), Republican Darleen Taylor, who narrowly won her primary last May, faces a Democratic challenge in a district with a large minority population. Deal only won a slight majority here in 2010.

    Perhaps there are others being watched where there is a realistic chance of a party switch, but those are top ones I can think of.

  7. northside101 says:


    Should have said for Carl Von Epps’ HD 132, his district backed Obama, not Barnes of course, in 2012.

    Also, pretty evident for the House, only question is size of Republican majority, not whether there will be one. Going into qualifying this year, the count in the House was 119 Republicans, 60 Democrats and 1 independent (Rusty Kidd), Count now is 118 Republicans as Ed Lindsey resigned his HD 54 seat this past summer to take a position on the House Transportation Funding Study Committee meeting in the interim.

    • Edward Lindsey says:

      Norhtside101: Good analysis as to the tighter State House races this year. Since HD 54 was my district for 10 years let me add some more detail. While Romney got 58% in my district, I recieved 63% against Lynn Brown McKinney in 2012. Johnny Isakson also received 63% in 2010. So an argument can be made that Romney simply under performed. Lynn ran a more aggressive race than I am seeing out of Bob Giebling. Bill Bozarth is working hard but he is not getting any traction outside of his home neighborhood of Garden Hills. My best guess is that Bob still outperforms Bill simply by virtue of having a D by his name and Bozarth shaves a small amount from the other two.

      My best guess on the outcome: Beskin 55%, Giebling 30%, Bozarth 15%.

  8. View from Brookhaven says:

    I just want the Brookhaven “redevelopment powers” law to go down in flames.
    And for Clayton to opt in to MARTA.
    Other than that, meh.

  9. Ed says:

    No one cares but I have no idea.

    My gut tells me the GOP *should* win outright in both races. Probably a combined 4 points max prevents that. Deal has been lackluster, Perdue couldn’t be any worse and Nunn has only done slightly better than he has.

    Barrow loses.

    Dems pick up 2 in GA House.

    I’ll be bold and say Dems retain US Senate.

    I will be very tired in the AM.

  10. Andrew C. Pope says:

    My guesses…

    Runoffs in both the Gov and Senate races.

    GOP takes the Senate without Perdue. Nothing changes. GOP continues to do dumb things like vote to repeal Obamacare. Their dumb things get vetoed and the GOP can’t override them. Gridlock continues. McConnell and Boehner yell at the President for vetoing their bills. Obama tells them “stop passing regressive dreck.” American people sit around and wonder where we all went so wrong, long for a simpler time, when we were young and more precocious. McConnell proves he can’t corral Cruz, Paul, and the rest of the far-right reaches of the party, senators up in 2016 begin to follow them to the right. McConnell looks increasingly inept and takes over for Harry Reid as the unattractive public face of legislative ineffectiveness. Jody Hice demands Muslims be put into internment camps. 2016 rolls around and voters hate Congress (now fully associated with the GOP) more than ever. Hill-Dawg cruises through Iowa and New Hampshire, wins the Presidency. Dems, including Jason Carter charge back into the Senate. RBG and Kennedy retire. Replaced by Clinton nominees. Jody Hice says women shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Supreme Court, unless they’re cooking in the cafeteria, but even then, only if they get their husband’s permission. Limbaugh, Hannity, et. al. buy an even bigger houses in Palm Springs on the back of the sky high ratings a new Clinton presidency has brought their programs. 2018, the economy is back on track. More seats for the Democrats and Kasim Reed moves into the Governor’s mansion. By 2019, Nathan Deal has been elected president of the cell block C community board, fails to live up to his promises of fresh linens and private showers.

  11. Lawton Sack says:

    My prognostic pundit-less predictions for Peach Pundit:

    Deal wins without a runoff
    Perdue heads to runoff, but leads Nunn in total votes
    Cagle gets most GOP votes to be the “frontrunner” for the 2018 gubernatorial campaign
    Sam Olens gets second most GOP votes
    Brian Kemp gets third most GOP votes
    School Superintendent – Who knows, should be appointed anyway. If I had to pick, Richard Woods very, very slightly
    PSC – The GOPers win
    Insurance/Fire Safety Commissioner – Hudgens

    I think that is everything. Oh, and Barrow goes down with 49% of the vote.

  12. Bobloblaw says:

    Deal wins without a runoff, Perdue gets 49.6% but needs a runoff to win. No Senate winner tonight, GOP leads 50-48. LA and GA go GOP in runoffs.

    Bold Prediction: Roberts wins in KS.

  13. Will Durant says:

    Runoffs in the top 2. All the rest of statewide ticket = R. Just too many pure partisan voters and apathetic ones. Please support an amendment for non-partisan primaries so that some of the apathy can be addressed with only 2 trips to vote per cycle being asked of the voters.

      • Will Durant says:

        No, didn’t mean to imply there was one. I want people to get on the backs of their reps to get one on a future ballot. If actually placing a bet I would expect to get 2-1 odds against seeing it on a future ballot because there is too much already invested in the clunky status quo.

  14. NoTeabagging says:

    Joining the fun. I predict GA vote numbers will not fall neatly along party lines. I am boldly predicting higher numbers in the Lt. Gov. race for Cagle even among Carter supporters.

  15. Daniel N. Adams says:

    My predictions haven’t changed by more than a half of a percentage point since July, but seem to be better in line with current polling… R 51% D 44% L 5%, all +/- 2.5%.

  16. notsplost says:

    Worthless predictions:

    Cobb SPLOST goes down 55% NO 45% YES.

    Deal wins without a runoff.

    Purdue-Nunn goes to a runoff.

    GOP fails to take Senate – Dems win upsets in IA, Alaska, Colorado and Kentucky leaving Senate TIED pending GA, LA runoffs.

  17. Boredatwork says:

    Governor: Deal wins without a runoff, gets between 50 and 51%
    Senate: Nunn wins an upset, no runoff.
    School Super: Wilson wins by less than a point.
    Downballot statewide: All Republican wins, but AG is surprisingly close.
    12th: Barrow escapes again, but with his narrowest victory yet.
    1st: Buddy Carter
    10th: Rationality loses in a landslide

  18. caroline says:

    I would say GA senate and Gov go into a runoff. Though considering the phone call i just got from the GA GOP i have to wonder since it said the exit polls are showing record Democratic turnout here in GA.

    Who controls the senate is going to be decided by either LA or GA runoff or both. The GOP is going to have to pull an inside straight much like Mitt would have had to do back in 2012 to win the senate tonight. Too many polls within the margin of error.

    GOP wins all other statewide offices except Attorney General and State School Superintendent.

  19. Hwy41Politico says:

    If Georgia is so red why is this so close?

    Are these pollsters the same ones who predicted a Jack Kingston victory?

    Prediction both Deal and Perdue win outright tonight but GOP better start expanding the Georgia GOP tent or GOP will soon loose the Governors Mansion and US Senate and not get it back for a very long time…I believe the last Governorship dry spell lasted 130 years.

  20. George Chidi says:

    I’ve been hitting swing voting precincts in DeKalb today, places like Tucker Library and Brockett. These are precincts that are relatively close to even splits between Democrats and Republicans. And voter turnout appears to be especially heavy there. Very, very high, even without accounting for early voting.

    For all the talk about black voter turnout, I’m left to wonder how a higher turnout of middle class Georgia changes the outcome.

    I think we’re looking at runoffs in both top-ticket races, with somewhat smaller leads for Deal and Perdue than expected. Wilson wins by half a point. Republicans for the rest with four to ten point splits.

    • caroline says:

      Well, at my polling place it was about 90% women when I went. I was really kind of shocked because usually it’s 50/50. So maybe it’s not so much a Dem/Rep thing as a male/female thing and women are turning out in large numbers? I guess it remains to be seen.

  21. seenbetrdayz says:

    I predict that overall, no matter what happens, nothing will change.

    Bonus prediction: We will see at least a 10% growth in government within the next year.

    • Will Durant says:

      What? Even one of the Governor’s tv ads flashed “Real Change”. Now THAT got a belly laugh out of me the first time I saw it.

  22. Bull Moose says:

    I think turnout is leaning towards Dems in GA so I predict that Carter and Nunn both win without a runoff. The only other race the Dems win statewide in GA will be Val for Superintendent, but the AG race will be closer than expected and the race for Insurance Commissioner may even go into overtime (runoff).

    Nationwide – Dems hold NH, NC, CO; Orman wins KS; GOP picks up IA, AK, AR

  23. benevolus says:

    Hey, didn’t there used to be someone who posted here called himself Ed? Whatever happened to him?

  24. Bobloblaw says:

    Take it for what it is worth, but early exit polls show GOP picks up CO, IA, AR, VA much closer than expected, GOP holds GA, KY and KS. Nothing on NH, NC, LA, and of course AK is too far west.

    Deal staff says they will avoid runoff.

    Worst indication for Dems, Obama disapproval among those how were surveyed nationally, 54%. Higher than 2010.

    Like I said, nothing official, but these are CNN exit polls. Go vote.

    • benevolus says:

      Congress’ approval is way lower than Obama’s, so how that translates to losses for Dems I don’t understand.

      • caroline says:

        Those CO exit polls have already been changed with Udall apparently leading with unaffiliated voters. Exit polls are crack for the weak.

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