Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns

In U.S. Senate runoff, the Chamber takes it on the chin

  • 12:45 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

David Perdue’s decision to target the U.S. Chamber in the final days of his GOP Senate runoff was more a page torn from the family playbook than an act of desperation.

In 2002, upstart Sonny Perdue was shocked, baffled and outraged by the fact that a national political group known for reflexively endorsing Republicans instead decided to side with Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes.

In that case, it was the National Rifle Association. Perdue challenged Barnes to a shotgun duel – all right, a skeet shoot (which never happened) — and campaigned against the NRA as one of those many special interests [More]

Republicans come out swinging against Nunn, Carter at GOP unity event

  • 11:54 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The top candidates on Georgia’s Republican ticket pulled no punches at a Wednesday event meant to show the GOP was solidly behind Senate candidate David Perdue.

All that establishment angst over Perdue’s candidacy? Gone, said GOP chair John Padgett, who called the former Fortune 500 executive a “rock-solid conservative with a stellar record in business” who can defeat Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Gov. Nathan Deal, who steered clear of picking favorites in the primary or the runoff, made sure to point out how happy he is he’ll be sharing the top of the ticket with Perdue. Deal, of course, faces a stiff challenge [More]

Michelle Nunn mentions ‘contrast’ but avoids attack as general election begins

  • 10:02 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Democrat Michelle Nunn kicked off the U.S. Senate general election Wednesday morning promising not to deviate from her message of “collaboration” and declining to take a direct shot at her newly crowned foe, Republican David Perdue.

Nunn met with voters and volunteers at the Silver Skillet in Midtown Atlanta, then told reporters there would be a “contrast” between her career and Perdue’s. Neither has run for office before, as Nunn touts her experience leading the nonprofit that became Points of Light and Perdue running on his business credentials including stints as CEO of Dollar General and Reebok. Said Nunn:

“We have a [More]

5 reasons David Perdue shocked Georgia’s political world to win GOP Senate nod

  • 12:22 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

David Perdue’s stunning victory over Rep. Jack Kingston was both a rebuke to Georgia’s political establishment and a reminder that November will be a very unconventional race. Here are five factors that played into Perdue’s upset victory:

Metro Atlanta’s Perdue support offset south Georgia’s Kingston backing. While Kingston held onto his big margins in south Georgia, Perdue more than wiped him out with big showings in populous metro Atlanta and other urban areas across the state. Perdue’s camp was ecstatic that Kingston’s net margin over Perdue in Savannah’s Chatham County was 12,000 – close to what they expected. If Kingston landed [More]

Jack Kingston: ‘It is going to be a late night. … We will prevail.’

  • 9:28 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

As Rep. Jack Kingston took the stage to thank a couple hundred supporters in Midtown, a large screen projecting election results showed him with a lead of less than one percentage point over rival David Perdue.

“It is going to be a late night,” he said. “So for those of you who are interested, there is a Starbucks across the street.”

Kingston still projected confidence in the outcome.

“I am confident that at the end of the night, when that last vote is counted, that we will prevail,” Kingston said.

He got a little nostalgic — and threw a jab at Perdue — when [More]

As polls close, ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue calls for ‘ground rules’ in GOP runoffs

  • 7:05 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Shortly before the polls closed, former Gov. Sonny Perdue arrived at his first-cousin’s election watching party with something to get off his mind.

“I’m a little concerned our primaries have become a little out of control over allegations and things. And I think it may be the best way to choose a candidate, but I think we’ve got to re-establish some ground rules about ethics and allegations there that are reasonable.”

He was speaking of the bruising nine-week runoff cycle - the longest and costliest in state history - that has left both businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston bloodied [More]

When polls close: AJC election results for Tuesday’s runoffs

  • 5:22 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Surely, you’ve been following the AJC elections team on the ajc.com home page, Facebook or Twitter. And here, of course.

But once we hit the bewitching hour of 7 p.m. , these are your best links for tonight’s drama:

Top races at glance, including the all-important GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. Click here for mobile updates;

The Democratic and Republican runoffs for state school superintendent to replace incumbent John Barge;

Runoffs for three U.S. House seats, including three GOP contests that pit establishment candidates against tea partyers: Buddy Carter v. Bob Johnson in the [More]

A hair-pin turn in U.S. Senate race puts the focus on Michelle Nunn

  • 10:24 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Georgia’s first – and perhaps last – nine-week primary runoff concludes today. A hair-pin turn in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is already underway.

Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue have thrown millions of dollars’ worth of insults at each other. Kingston has accused Perdue of consorting with the French. Perdue, on slightly firmer ground, has accused Kingston of being a member of Congress.

In Washington, The Hill newspaper has found someone willing to offer a highly technical assessment of the situation:

They’ve been beating the crap out of each other,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Chip Lake, who [More]

Georgia elections rap Volume 2: The runoff rhyme

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Our own Daniel Malloy explains today’s runoffs as only he can, with all due credit to the Wu-Tang Clan.

(Here’s his first effort from May.)

5 Things to Watch in the U.S. Senate Race

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

Runoff day is finally here, kids. First, check out our premium story on why the Republicans never want this nine-week slog again. This evening, monitor the election returns at ajc.com and follow us on Twitter.

For an in-depth look at the candidates, read our profiles of Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue. And throughout the day, keep tabs on these five things we’ll be watching as Republicans decide which one of the candidates will be their U.S. Senate nominee.

1. Overall turnout: Will the rain and the negativity of the race depress turnout that was [More]