Friday, April 16, 2010

Very good news for Democrats in Georgia

Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond will enter the US Senate race against Johnny Isakson on Tuesday. This is exceptionally good news for Democrats on two fronts:

1) Last month we ranked Isakson as the third most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the country seeking reelection, behind only Richard Burr and David Vitter. When we polled the state six weeks ago he had extremely middling approval numbers with 36% of voters giving him good marks and 38% saying they disapproved of him. We showed him at just 46% against a generic Democratic opponent and lest you think that's just PPP bias Rasmussen has shown him under 50% in the last few months as well. Obviously Georgia is going to be a tough state for Democrats in this political climate. But Isakson is a weak incumbent and it's very good news for Democrats that a statewide office holder is willing to challenge him. This could be a sleeper race like the Jim Martin/Saxby Chambliss one two years ago that ended up being much closer in the fall than anyone had expected in the spring.

2) The other reason it's really good news is that having a strong black candidate on the top of the ticket alongside Roy Barnes should really help to get African American voters out for the Governor's race and the whole Democratic ticket. Taking the polling as a whole you have to look at the Gubernatorial contest as a 50/50 proposition right now. If Democrats can avoid the drop off in turnout from black voters that plagued the party's chances of winning the Martin/Chambliss runoff in 2008 and more recently the Virginia Governor's race that will really help their prospects across the board- and Thurmond should help with that.

Democrats haven't had a lot of good weeks on the recruitment front so far this year- but with Pataki and Thompson out in New York and Wisconsin and Thurmond in in George you have to declare the last five a days a win for the party.


Anonymous said...

Tom, dream on! If Republicans pick up senate seats in Massachusetts and Illinois, you honestly think that an incumbent Republican senator will lose in Georgia where they won an open race in '08? Face the facts! Democrats will lose likely 7-8 seats in the Senate and 50+ in the House. Period.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss the Democratic primary election? Who says Barnes will be the nominee? Let's not forget that all the pollsters and pundits were wrong, wrong, wrong in 2002.

Anonymous said...

Leftist loon Kos polled this match-up last week and had Isakson above 50 and blasting Thurmond by nearly 30 points. Sweet dreams.

Bharat said...

Great analysis, thanks tom!

Anonymous said...

Thurmond over Isakson? Not! Given the current anti-Democrat sentiment of voters in this country - very much so in Georgia, Isakson is a virtual shoe-in to win reelection. According to the most recent Rasmussen poll (March 17), Isakson led a generic Democrat by 52-31, up from February, when it was 49-36. In the same poll, he had a VERY STRONG favorability rating of 24-8, amongst Georgia voters, versus those having a VERY STRONG unfavorable opinion of him (3 to 1?) Add on the fact that McCain carried Georgia over Obama 52-47 in 2008. There is, as well, a number of other (polling) stats favoring the likelihood that he will, indeed, be reelected. And you consider him to be vulnerable? I don't think so!

Christian Liberty said...

Those willing to put their money where their mouth is over at Intrade only give a Democrat a 10% chance to defeat Isakson.

Tom Jensen said...

Christian Liberty,

Do you have a job? Those of us hard working Americans who are keeping this country strong don't have nearly as much time to comment on blogs as you seem to.

wt said...


That last comment was a little mean. Try to stay positive and nice.

I was actually thinking the same thing as Christian Liberty, and ran over to intrade to check out this race. No one snapped up the 1 dollar shares of Thurmond last week, and no one has yet. I doubt it'll change the race much, but we'll see.

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