Could Michelle Nunn Actually Win Georgia?

Michelle NunnAndrew Prokop reported over at Vox yesterday, Election Forecasters Now Give Democrats a Slight Edge in Georgia. And that’s true. Michelle Nunn has been hammering David Perdue who spent most of his career outsourcing, and thinks it is something people should applaud him for. They haven’t been applauding.

It’s the same old story: the things Republicans actually believe in are really unpopular. But I’m sure in the social circle that Perdue is in, it’s a different universe. In it, outsourcing is great, only property owners should be allowed to vote, and taxes must be eliminated for the “job creators.” They are shocked when they get out into the real world and find that these are not widely supported ideas. And this is why conservatives think that liberals shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Unless they understand what “everyone I talk to” knows, they must be ill informed.

If you look at the polls, Nunn really does look like she is beating Perdue — by roughly 2 percentage points. But don’t get too excited. She doesn’t just have to beat Perdue. She has to get over 50% of the vote. If she doesn’t, it goes to a runoff in January. There are two problems with that. First, there is a libertarian, Amanda Swafford, who is consistently getting about 5% of the vote. As I’ve discussed before, libertarians tend to vote Republican. So most of those libertarian votes will go to Perdue in January. The second problem is bigger: voter turnout will be even worse in January, which will help Perdue.

But it is possible that Nunn could get to 50% in the general election. The Daily Kos election model currently has Nunn getting 48.2% of the total vote. As I discussed yesterday, the nationwide polling data for midterms has been off by an average of 2.9 percentage points. The polling for Nunn would only have to be biased against her by 1.8 percentage points. It isn’t out of the question. Just the same, maybe the polls are biased the other way around and Perdue will get 50%. (That’s unlikely; they would have to be running 3 percentage points against him.)

Let’s give the runoff a thought. I think if Nunn loses but still forces a runoff, it’s over. But if Nunn wins and they go to a runoff, I think there will be a lot of resources put to her campaign. And I don’t especially seeing the Republicans’ resources as changing things all that much. Nunn would have two months to continue to beat up on Perdue about how much he thinks it rocks to send jobs overseas. And with an aggressive get-out-the-vote operation, she might just be able to win. But I think it is clear that this is less likely to happen than that she is going to out perform the polls and win outright on 4 November.

It is important to remember, however, that none of this should even be possible. The Georgia electorate is changing, but it hasn’t changed that much. According to the polls, the Democrats are greatly out performing expectations. The Republicans really have nothing to feel good about in this election. And if the Democrats do manage to hold the Senate, there really ought to be suicides on K Street. I don’t expect to see this, however. The Republicans will take what will regardless be gains in the Senate as another reason to continue on with their scorched earth resistance to actually helping the country. Regardless of what happens, this will be the election that people will look back on and say, “That’s when the Republican Party started to lose its grip on national politics.”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

2 thoughts on “Could Michelle Nunn Actually Win Georgia?

  1. When it comes to trade and outsourcing, two Republican narratives clash. On the one hand you have the plutocratic-hyper libertarian line that capital must be able to move where ever it wishes and that American Jobs are irrelevant compared to growing total GDP and bringing maximum returns to capital.

    On the other hand, there is the neo Puritan line that everyone (who is not rich) must have a job. There is the belief that economic policy should be set so that we create as many jobs as possible, no matter how dangerous or degrading or low paying, we must have jobs that will keep people busy and not fornicating, or listening to rap music or voting.

    Even among Republicans, jobs and the labor market are important. They would not vote for a Democrat but they may just not vote for a hyper plutocrat. This happened with Mitt Romney in 2012 and it may happen in Georgia in 2014.

    • I’m still trying to figure out the disconnect between most Republican voters and the Republican Party. I know that roughly 20% of all voters are just crazy. But that still requires another 30% to vote for candidates who they disagree with. I guess I’ve settled on tribalism. But I still wonder about it. I mean, if the Republican Party had moved as far to the left as the Democratic Party has moved to the right, I would be a Republican today. All those people voting Republican in the 1970s should be voting Democratic today, and that isn’t generally the case.

      I also think there is a kind of social contract about economics that has been broken: as productivity increases, that is supposed to be split between capital and labor. But instead, more people have been forced to move into the public economy and they’ve been put in more debt. What brilliant idea will the power elite come up with next that will allow everyone to continue buying all their junk without having to pay them more? I know: child labor!

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