Atlanta businessman Matt Lieberman, son of former Connecticut Senator and 2000 Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Lieberman, released his HarrisX poll that was conducted at the end of August (8/20-30; 1,616 GA registered voters).
Mr. Lieberman’s point in releasing the findings was to show that he was only three percentage points behind Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed opponent Rev. Raphael Warnock, 16-13%, in the jungle primary survey. The data also showed, however, that neither would qualify for the January 5th runoff election as Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) would be the two who advance at 26 and 21%, respectively.
Kevin Van Ausdal, the Democratic nominee in the open northwest Georgia congressional district, announced the end of his campaign over the weekend. Mr. Van Ausdal was served divorce papers on Friday demanding that he vacate his home. He said he plans to move to a family property in Indiana. Under Georgia election law, the Democrats will not be able to replace Mr. Van Ausdal on the ballot because the withdrawal is coming within 60 days of the election. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) indicated that the candidate can legally withdraw, but there is no means for a replacement nominee to be named within the final two months. It appears launching a write-in campaign is the Democrats’ only option.
Republican nominee Marjorie Taylor Greene is now virtually assured of victory in November. She has been under attack throughout the election cycle mostly for her association with the highly controversial QAnon conspiracy theory, but a Democrat winning this 75% Trump district was not viewed as a viable possibility. In an unrelated development, retiring Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger/Rome) announced that he is going to resign the office in October. This could trigger a special election in order to fill the final few days of the current term.
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) yesterday announced her endorsement of Rev. Raphael Warnock for the US Senate special election. This now means that all four Democratic House members comprising the Georgia delegation have publicly embraced Rev. Warnock over Atlanta businessman Matt Lieberman and ex-US Attorney Ed Tarver.
The Georgia special election will be conducted in a jungle primary format. If one candidate receives majority support, such person is elected outright to fill the balance of resigned Sen. Johnny Isakson’s unexpired term. If no one secures a majority, the top two finishers, regardless of political party identification, will advance to a January 5, 2021 runoff election. The top Republicans are appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler and US Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville).
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research confirms in their new GA-6 poll (8/11-16; 401 GA-6 likely voters) for the suburban district lying wholly within the Atlanta metropolitan region, that the re-match between freshman Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) and former Rep. Karen Handel (R) is again in the toss-up realm. The GQR results find Rep. McBath holding a tight 50-47% edge over Ms. Handel. In 2018, the actual election totals found Ms. McBath winning with only the slightest 50.5 – 49.5% margin. It appears more than likely that will we see another razor-thin result in the coming re-match.
Democratic pollster Garin Hart Young Research released a Georgia US Senate survey (8/10-13; 601 GA likely voters) and found Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff holding a 48-46% edge over first-term Sen. David Perdue (R). Around the same time, another Democratic polling firm, Public Policy Polling (8/13-14; 530 GA voters) tested the Georgia electorate and found the candidates tied at 44% apiece. Just before that, media pollster Survey USA (8/6-8; 623 GA likely voters) went into the field and projected Sen. Perdue to be holding a three-point lead, 44-41%. It is evident from these different polls all conducted loosely within the same time frame, that the Georgia regular election Senate campaign is trending toward the toss-up realm.
Controversial businesswoman Margorie Taylor Greene easily won her Republican runoff election last night with a 57-43% victory margin over Rome area surgeon John Cowan. Ms. Greene is associated with the QAnon movement whose affiliates believe a “deep state bureaucratic underground” is attempting to undermine President Trump. Since the 14th District is strongly conservative, Ms. Greene is a heavy favorite to win in November and replace retiring Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ranger/Rome).
In the northeast Georgia 9th District, retired Navy officer and firearm company owner Andrew Clyde, who self-funded most of his campaign, defeated state Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger), 56-44%, to claim the Republican nomination. Mr. Clyde advances into a general election where he becomes the heavy favorite to succeed Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) who is running for the Senate.
As Georgia election law mandates, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is forced to schedule a special election to replace the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta), even though the final part of the term could be as short as one month. Now, the special election itself is becoming rather useless since chosen Democratic general election nominee Nikema Williams, the Georgia Democratic Party chair and a state Senator, decided not to enter the September 29th special jungle primary.
Seven others did file to run, so moving to a December 1st runoff election now becomes very likely without Ms. Williams in the field. This means the special election winner will serve less than a month in Congress before Ms. Williams takes the seat in January after winning what will be, for her, a cinch general election in the heavily Democratic district.
Republican candidate John Cowan, a north Georgia surgeon, just released a new internal poll as reported in the NJ Hotline (7/23-26; 400 GA-14 likely runoff voters) in anticipation of the August 11th runoff election. The results find Dr. Cowan and his opponent, first place primary finisher Margorie Taylor Greene, tied at 38% apiece. This is a consistent result with two earlier polls that showed each candidate establishing a three-point lead. In the primary, Ms. Greene outpolled Dr. Cowan, 40-21%, which was well short of the 50% she needed to capture the nomination outright.
Monmouth University completed a Georgia survey (7/23-27; 402 GA likely voters) that found, for the first time, appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) leading the special election field for the November 3rd jungle primary election to fill the remainder of resigned Sen. Johnny Isakson’s final term. Mr. Isakson departed the Senate at the end of 2019 for health reasons.
According to Monmouth, Sen. Loeffler leads Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville), 26-20% with Democratic businessman Matt Lieberman, the son of former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman (D/I), trailing in third place with 14%. Following is Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed candidate Raphael Warnock at only 9% preference, ahead of only former US Attorney Ed Tarver’s 5% preference figure.
This is the first time a poll has reported Sen. Loeffler with a lead, so confirming data will have to be released before the Monmouth poll is treated as anything but an outlier. This is not the first time, however, that a survey has projected both Republicans advancing to the January 5th runoff election. If no candidate attains the 50% plateau on election night, the top two finishers will advance into the secondary election.
Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced that the special election to fill the remainder of the late Rep. John Lewis’ (D-Atlanta) term will be filled with a jungle primary scheduled for September 29th. If no candidate receives majority support, the top two will runoff on December 1st. It is likely that state Senator and Georgia Democratic Party state chair Nikema Williams will win the special election outright. She is the official replacement for Mr. Lewis on the November ballot for the regular term, so seeing her lose the special election would be highly unlikely.
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