Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Senate Update - The Georgia Firewall

Not too long ago, it was once thought that if Democrats were to have any electoral success in 2014 in Georgia, it would be because President Jimmy Carter's grandson, Jason Carter, was able to defeat the Republican incumbent.  However, it now seems Michelle Nunn may be the candidate to ignite the hopes of Democrats for turning Georgia blue (or at least purple-ish).

Nunn has now led in every poll over the past two weeks.  While her lead is within the margin of error, it's perhaps a bigger deal because Perdue's lead before the 'outsourcing' scandal was between three and four points.  That represents a 5-7 point swing in just a couple weeks.  

With this new lead, Georgia is making up what Democrats hope will be a 'firewall' to save
their Senate majority.  Here's how it works.  The GOP need to pick up a net six seats in order to have the majority.  If they get MT, SD, WV, AR, AK, and LA, they are already there (all of those states are either safe or likely GOP pickups now).  Plus, Republicans are strongly favored in Colorado.  That would mean the GOP would have seven seats, one more than needed.  

Democrats, however, see Georgia and Kansas as their two possible pickup opportunities.  If Dems can hold on to Iowa (which is currently a near-tie), North Carolina (leaning towards Hagan), and New Hampshire, along with pickup up Georgia and Kansas from the GOP (Orman would have to caucus with the Democrats), the party will keep the majority.  

That's a lot of 'ifs', certainly more than the GOP needs to pull off at this point.  The electoral calculus is always changing, but it seems this is the most likely scenario to a Democratic-controlled Senate in 2015.  As it stands, Republicans now have a 68.2% chance of making that not happen.

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