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May 18, 2014

Can Georgia Conservatives Avoid the Baskin-Robbins Problem?

Disclaimer: I don't have a dog in this fight. Truth be told, I'm hardly an ideologue: elections and polls are the things that get my rocks off, not how conservative or squishy a candidate is. I think Perdue and Kingston would make fine Senators and would be clearly better than Nunn. However, reading conservative sites, blogs, and Twitter, it is obvious both are perceived by many Georgia conservatives as RINOs. So, I wrote this piece not to attack either of them, but to examine the remaining candidates based on their odds of actually winning a spot in the runoff.

The retirement of Senator Saxby Chambliss leaves an open seat for Republicans to defend in Georgia. The primary has been heated, lines have been drawn, and there will almost certainly be a runoff. The top two candidates, for some time, are David Perdue and Jack Kingston. Perdue seems virtually guaranteed a spot, while Kingston seems to be in a tight race for the second runoff slot with Karen Handel:

chartGeorgiaprimary.png

How can conservatives avoid a "double RINO" primary?


I took a look at previous election results and the presumed regional strength-by-congressional district of all of the non-Perdue candidates. Why non-Perdue? Because again, at least based on the polling, he's guaranteed a spot for the runoff at this point. The race now is to send a second choice to the runoff. So, here's where each of them will likely be strongest:

Georgia Primary 2nd spot.png

Since an overwhelming majority of votes cast in Republican primaries are in the northern two-thirds of the state and the presumed regional strength of Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun are within that region, if their supporters backed the surging Karen Handel, she clears over a third of the state wide vote and easily strolls into a runoff.

Neither Broun nor Gingrey are going to make the runoff at this point. Their support statewide stands around 10% each and Kingston, Handel and Perdue all easily surpass both of them poll after poll after poll. There is no evidence whatsoever of a secret surge that will push either of them into even the top three spots. While the polling difference between each of the candidates may seem small (Perdue is, afterall, only getting barely over a fourth of the vote), because there are so many choices on the ballot, climbing out of the high teens is difficult without receiving a redirect of another candidate's voters. Climbing from barely out of the single digits? An impossibility with Election Day less than 48 hours away.

So the choice in the final two days for Georgia conservatives is quite simple: splinter your vote among three candidates, allowing Perdue and Kingston to be your run-off options, or congeal behind the one candidate who has made substantial progress as made evident in polling and social media, Handel.

The establishment isn't conspiring to create a Kingston-Perdue runoff.

You are.

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posted by CAC at 05:09 PM

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