Well, we have the results from today's primaries in Georgia, and they are veddy veddy interesting. In the governor's race, we're headed for a runoff on the Republican side, while the newly anointed Democratic candidate came through in a landslide. Meanwhile, there are also results for two potentially vulnerable Democratic seats. And it's all right below the fold, here:
Firstly, the governor's race. As expected, former Gov. Roy Barnes is the Democratic nominee, unsurprising given his recent poll numbers. On the other side of the aisle, we have a runoff brewing between former Secretary of State Karen Handel and former Congressman Nathan Deal. This has the potential for some quite fascinating wingnut freakouts, given that Handel has received the endorsement of teh Great Wasilla Wingnut, while Deal got a recommendation from Newt Gingrich. I say "potential" because I'm not sure to what extent the endorsers will back their respective endorsees. On the other hand, I do expect to get bombarded with despicable ads about how much Karen Handel likes teh ghey, and I also expect Handel to move way far to the right. She'll probably find some way to associate herself with the Tea Party in one way or another.
At any rate, I'm not sure about November. It seems pretty close right now between Barnes and either potential Republican candidate, although we're going to see shifting one way or the other during the rest of the campaign. I'm not sure how the runoff will affect Handel's or Deal's numbers in a face-off against Barnes; will it sour voters on the eventual nominee? Then there's the urban-rural dynamic in Georgia, which is always a factor in our politics down here. Nominating Handel might allow the GOP to compete more in urban areas, though I'm not sure this would actually be enough of a difference in the end.
Of course, the real news in this race is how the mighty have fallen. Yes, the Great Ox(endine), once the front-runner in this race, is in 4th place, and will probably remain there. Alas, poor Oxendine. So it is that the very imaginatively titled "Contract with Georgia" shall not come to pass. He's like Georgia's Mitt Romney (minus all of teh Mormon): He started out well, but faded when the actual election came around.
In other races, Carol Porter, wife of House Minority Leader Dubose Porter, won the right to lose to Republican incumbent Casey Cagle in the race for the Lieutenant Governorship. Also, Labor Commish Michael Thurmond gets the honor of losing to Johnny Isakson in the race for the Senate seat that Isakson currently occupies.
Now, on to the important U.S. House races. Jim Marshall (GA-08) and John Barrow (GA-12), both Blue Dog Democrats, both won the noms for their respective districts. Marshall and Barrow could be in trouble, come November, and I base that on the fact that they are generally in trouble when facing challenges. GA-08 has a PVI of R+10, while GA-12 (which does include some Democratic strongholds) is borderline at D+1. Barrow, then, may be heartened to learn that Republicans Ray McKinney (the teapartier) and Carl Smith are caught in a runoff. Marshall, I suspect, is less pleased that his Republican opponent, state Rep. Austin Scott won more than 50% and avoided a runoff.
I will end with the House race that most affects me, the 4th District. Hank Johnson has been a great congressman, and one misconstrued remark about Guam was not about to change my mind. I'm very happy to say that Hank beat former Dekalb County CEO Vernon Jones and Connie Stokes, a Dekalb County Commissioner. Mostly I'm happy because this marks the second electoral smackdown of Vernon Jones, who is a horribly egotistical asshat, the end. Congrats, Hank! I look forward to the crushing defeat of Liz Carter, the Republican candidate, on Election Day.