Tuesday, July 23, 2013
47. That's the highwater mark for a Democratic candidate in a statewide race in Georgia in the past decade. It was achieved by Jim Martin in 2008 against Saxby Chambliss*.
Chambliss is now retiring and a new Democrat is seeking to replace him. Michelle Nunn is the daughter of legendary Georgia Senator Sam Nunn and she will certainly face whatever candidate emerges from the crowded Republican primary field.
47 is daunting but it gets worse. In the last election where President Obama was not at the top of the ticket, the Democratic highwater mark was 43% by Roy Barnes in 2010.
You will hear many stories today that will use words like "battleground" and "changing demograpics", but they will ignore the cold hard math. The last time a non-incumbent Democrat posted over 45% in a statewide race where Barack Obama's name wasn't at the top of the ticket was Michael Coles well-funded campaign against Paul Coverdell in 1998.
Anyone who ignores the unsexy numbers while charging towards the sexy narratives are dreaming of dog wagging tails in the political doldrums that suffocate the summer before a big election.
*Editor's note - Democratic candidate for PSC Jim Powell actually achieved 48% in 2008 but there was so much craziness in that election, it shouldn't be considered comparable.
Posted by griftdrift at 8:25 AM