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Updated:
Wed. Jul 30, 2014
Senate
Republicans 49
Democrats 49
Independents 2
GOP +4
House
Republicans 233
Democrats 202
DEM +1
Governors
Republicans 29
Democrats 21
no change
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2014 Georgia Governor Race

Republican Nathan Deal, incumbent governor of Georgia, is facing an ethics investigation at a most inopportune time.  There is never a good time to be the subject of an investigation, but during a re-election campaign is just about the worst.  Deal's bid for another term should not be difficult.  However, investigations usually complicate things, and a recent poll on the race bears that out.

Landmark Communications released a poll that indicates Deal is struggling, and the beneficiary is Democratic nominee Jason Carter.  The poll gives former President Jimmy Carter's grandson an 8-point lead - just enough to offset last month's InsiderAdvantage survey and give him a fractional lead in the Georgia governor election and flip the Peach State to blue on the latest governors map.

In other news relating to the 2014 governor elections, two races are closer than expected if today's polling report is accurate.  Republican Governor Mary Fallin is only 5 points ahead of Democrat Joe Dorman in the Oklahoma governor election, and the likely Democratic nominee for Massachusetts governor, Martha Coakley, is but 3 points clear of her likely Republican opponent, Charlie Baker.  Though both races are in states whose ideology is decidedly partisan, they also have a history of voting for minority party chief executives.

Carter's advance leaves the projected governor tally at 29 Republicans and 21 Democrats.  That's identical to the current partisan makeup of the nation's statehouses.

posted by Scott Elliott at 8:01pm 07/18/14 :: link
When Sonny Perdue was elected Governor of Georgia in 2002, he became the first Republican to assume the office since Reconstruction.  After winning again in 2006, Perdue was unable to seek a third term in 2010 because of Georgia's two-term limit on governors.  He left behind a crowded, competitive primary field vying to replace him.

Secretary of State Karen Handel took the plurality of the primary vote, coming in with just over 34%.  Her share outpaced runner-up Nathan Deal, at the time a GOP Congressman from Georgia's ninth district, by 11%.  Due to Georgia's primary runoff electoral system, Handel and Deal advanced to a head-to-head partisan showdown.  In the time between the primary and the runoff, Deal was able to close the gap with Handel and ended up prevailing by less than one half of one percent to take the GOP nomination.

In the general election of 2010, Deal faced Democrat Roy Barnes, a popular former Governor himself.  Like Deal, Barnes had launched his gubernatorial run, in 1998, after earning a seat in the U.S House of Representatives.  Georgia's transition from blue to red was unmistakable on Election Day that year as Deal marched to an impressive 10-point win over a formidable opponent.

That deep red hue of the Peach State should serve Deal well in the 2014 Georgia Governor race as he seeks re-election.  He does face some primary opposition but should have little trouble retaining the GOP nod.  On the other side of the aisle, a man with a familiar last name could end up being his general election challenger.  That man is Georgia State Senator Jason Carter.

Yes, he is related to Jimmy Carter.  Jason is the former President's grandson.  Unfortunately for him, the political landscape of Georgia has changed radically in the 40+ years since his grandfather took residence in the Governor's Mansion after his victorious 1970 gubernatorial campaign.  He'll have plenty of name recognition from the outset of this race, assuming he wins the Democratic nomination (he's the only declared Democrat at this writing), but it won't be enough to seriously threaten Deal in what promises to be a rather easy run to a second term.

Preliminary projection:  Solid GOP Hold

You can track this race throughout the 2014 election season here at Election Projection by visiting the Georgia Governor Election page for polls, projections and updates.  Also, check out the 2014 Governor Elections page for a summary of all gubernatorial races on tap in 2014 complete with EP's colorful red and blue Governor map.

posted by Scott Elliott at 8:18pm 02/17/14 :: link
Election Projection*
Nathan Deal-inc
Solid GOP Hold
*Preliminary projection
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