GOP Holds Onto Senate Seat, Governorship in Georgia
Georgian voters have re-elected Republican Nathan Deal to be their governor. He won 53 percent of the vote (with 98% of precincts reporting in), defeating Democrat Jason Carter, who only received 44 percent of the vote.
Voters also elected Republican David Perdue to the U.S. Senate, who won 54 percent of the vote (with 96% of precincts reporting), defeating Democrat Michelle Nunn. Perdue will replace retiring Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss and will be entering a GOP-majority
Georgia will also be sending 14 representatives, 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats, to the House. Of the fourteen incumbents, only seven ran opposed. Of those seven races, only one was competitive -- Republican Rick Allen defeated incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow with 54 percent of the vote.In the Senate race, neither Nunn nor Perdue polled above 50 percent in the lead up to Election Day. Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford, who regularly polled at around 3 to 4 points, ultimately won only 2 percent of the vote.
Talk of a possible runoff election in January dominated headlines up to Election Day, but a runoff is no longer necessary since Perdue secured over 50 percent of the vote.
Additionally, Georgia experienced higher than normal early voter turnout, distinguishing it from most other states where the average voter is either apathetic or apoplectic with Congress and both parties.
That is not to say Georgians are not frustrated, either; the state suffers an 8 percent unemployment rate. Frustration and national attention on the Senate race drew more Georgians to the polls than usual.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said during an interview at Nunn's headquarters before the election results were released that exit polls were showing that 32 percent of the electorate was African-American. This was supposed to be to Nunn's advantage, but to no avail.
For a moment, Georgia, traditionally a conservative Republican bastion, looked like a battleground, but GOP candidates ended up doing better than public opinion polls suggested. Now, any hopes the Democratic Party has to flip the state will have to wait until 2016.
Image: Republican U.S. Senator-elect David Perdue