State-wide Election Results: (*Note the November contenders)
David A. Perdue * 51% 245,493
J.H. “Jack” Kingston 49% 236,987
State School Superintendent
Michael L. “Mike” Buck 50% 198.343
Richard Woods 50% 199,071
Alisha Thomas Morgan 46% 61,575
Valarie Wilson* 54% 73,423
A Significant Number of Democrats ‘Crossed over’ in this election.
Runoffs are typically not well attended. This one was no exception. What is exceptional is the fact that Perdue, who spent little money state-wide, and was virtually unknown prior to the primary- did so well in the northern part of the state (Metro Atlanta, specifically).
Preliminary poll numbers showed Kingston ahead (one poll by as much as 11percent).
This means that Democrats conducted a very well-executed effort to sway the election in Perdue’s favor (the reasoning being that Perdue would be easier for Nunn to beat than Kingston.
Perdue’s numbers are nothing short of fantastic given that Karen Handel (a strong Republican contender in the Primary and former Georgia Secretary of State) endorsed Kingston. Handel (who also has a history with the Fulton County Commission) certainly should have added to Kingston’s numbers in Metro.
Georgia Tea Parties are Alive and Well:
David Perdue’s vote in this election points to a significant tea party participation in this runoff. Kingston, a talented and well established candidate was not favored by tea party groups. They came out in numbers and it shows.
Implications for November
Now that the opponents are set for these two important races in the General Election, several implications are immediately relevant to November outcomes.
Demographics: A Red State Turning Blue
Georgia had been ‘blue’ since Reconstruction before it changed to ‘red’ with the election of Sonny Perdue as Governor in 2006 (Perdue garnering 52% of the state-wide vote to Barnes 46%).
Dramatic demographic shifts within Metro Atlanta were, for the most part, responsible for the change. Between 1990 and 2000, Metro Atlanta’s ‘white vote’ (non-Hispanic and not African American or Asian) grew by 16 percent.
Between 2000 and 2010 the demographics reversed themselves. In 2000, 63 percent of voters were classified as ‘white.’
By 2010, only 56 percent of voters were classified as ‘white.’
Meanwhile, the Metro Atlanta Hispanic vote went from 6 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010.
Georgia’s voting demographics were predicted to turn full circle by mainstream political pundits in early 2012 by 2016.
Turnout is Everything in an Election- the Impact of Collateral Races
Democrats have a lot of skin in the November election. In two very significant ‘up the ballot’ races (one being the U.S. Senate Race and the other being the gubernatorial race.) For the first time in a long time, there is a serious Democratic contender.
Nunn, daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, has considerable name recognition. Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, does also.
Both Democratic contenders for the ‘upper ballot’ races are predicted to have sizeable campaign funds and national Democrats have significant reasons to donate to each race.
Given that Democrats must fight hard to keep the U.S. Senate, the Nunn Race is considered a reasonable investment.
As of right now, David Perdue had only $780,000 cash, Jack Kingston has $1.2 million, and Nunn has $2.3 million.
President Obama and other African American and Democrat leaders will likely visit Georgia to ‘bring out the black vote’ and raise money for both candidates.
Additionally, the Georgia Democratic Party might get a sudden influx of donations to use almost exclusively on voter turnout.