Professor Galloway brings us up to date on recent trend in U.S. Senate races in Georgia.
Georgia is the only state in the Union in which a senatorial victory is defined as 50 percent plus one vote.
We trade in our senators like we once recycled the family station wagon: A chromed Ford, then a finned Chevy, then a Ford again, in an endless cycle of buyer’s enchantment and remorse.
Herman Talmadge, a Democrat, was replaced in 1980 by Republican Mack Mattingly, who was subbed out in 1986 by Democrat Wyche Flower, who was beaten in 1992 by Republican Paul Coverdell. Coverdell won two elections, but died shortly after the second, and was replaced for four years by the nominally Democratic Zell Miller, who was traded in for a 2004 model Republican Johnny Isakson.
Sam Nunn, a Democrat, was the last Georgia senator to serve out multiple terms. He retired in 1996, to be replaced by Max Cleland, another Democrat — who was promptly beaten by Chambliss in 2002.
Following Fowler’s defeat in ‘92 — a Libertarian threw the race into a run-off held two days before Thanksgiving — Democrats tried to put a damper on the turnover by lowering the bar of victory to 45 percent plus one vote.
Republicans howled heresy. And years later, at the same time it passed a measure to require voters to produce photographic ID, a Republican-conquered Legislature restored the rule of “50 percent plus one.”
Republicans have already expressed regret for their approval of early voting in Georgia, which the local Obama campaign has mastered with astounding efficiency.
So there is a tendency to wonder whether Republicans are victims of the law of unintended consequences when it comes to the “50 percent plus one” rule as well.