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
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
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
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