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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Some good reporting: 5 reasons David Perdue shocked Georgia’s political world to win GOP Senate nod

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy write in the AJC's Political Insider:

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 the same vote totals in coastal Georgia he tallied during the May primary, he’d be waking up to a different headline today.

A slow windup and powerful close. Perdue’s camp went up with its infamous “Babies” TV ads early in the primary to define the race. But in the nine-week runoff – the longest in state history – they largely held their fire until the final weeks before the contest. Perdue’s aides said that helped them refuel and better target Kingston. As we’ve noted, Perdue and his allies were vastly outspent by Kingston in metro Atlanta, but spent far more than him elsewhere in the state.

An effective grassroots network. Perdue advisers said it never got much media attention, but they built a formidable network of activists across the state who tapped an anti-incumbent streak to boost their candidate. That foundation is still intact, they say, and will come in handy against Nunn.

The Chamber was both boon and burden. The closing days back-and-forth involved the U.S. Chamber’s heavy investment in the race on Kingston’s behalf, with a flood of positive ads (and a last-minute negative that few voters likely saw). Perdue used it as evidence that Kingston secretly supported “amnesty.” Talk radio host Erick Erickson tweeted that he had trouble convincing many friends to vote Kingston because of the Chamber’s backing.

Very few people like Congress. Kingston had to own 22 years in Congress. As he put it Tuesday: “You know, people are very frustrated with Washington, D.C. and I think that was a big hurdle. And my opponent capitalized on that – as he should.”
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And from The Wall Street Journal:

David Perdue Edges Out Jack Kingston in GOP Senate Runoff in Georgia - Businessman to Take On Democrat Michelle Nunn in November

ATLANTA—Multimillionaire businessman David Perdue seized the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Georgia on Tuesday night, and must now pivot toward the November general election that could help decide whether Democrats maintain control of the chamber.

Mr. Perdue won the runoff with about 51% of the vote, with nearly all precincts reporting, with his biggest support in Atlanta's affluent northern suburbs. He edged out U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, who ran strongest in his Savannah district and southeastern Georgia.

Mr. Perdue, the 64-year-old former chief executive of Dollar General Corp., faces Michelle Nunn, 47, a daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn who is running as a centrist Democrat.

The GOP primary runoff lasted an unusually long and testy nine weeks, the result of a shift in federal election timetables in Georgia.

Both Republicans had scored endorsements from well-known Georgians. Mr. Kingston had the backing of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Erick Erickson, who produces the influential Red State blog. Mr. Perdue had help from his cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue, and former presidential hopeful Herman Cain.

Mr. Perdue's supporters said they liked his experience in business and his relative inexperience in politics. "He can't solve [our problems] but he can be the beginning of the solution," said Brannon Lesesne, a 75-year-old investment counselor from suburban Atlanta.

The victory of Mr. Perdue was a blow to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent at least $2.3 million on campaign ads backing his opponent. The business lobby liked that Mr. Kingston, an 11-term congressman, has pushed hard for federal funding to deepen the Savannah, Ga., harbor to expand capacity for trade.

The prolonged fight has given Ms. Nunn the chance to raise money and use her advertising budget to talk about her experience running the Points of Light Foundation Inc., a charity promoting volunteerism that was founded by former Republican President George H.W. Bush. Ms. Nunn has raised about $9.3 million, according to her campaign. Outside groups also will spend millions on both sides.

As of July 2, Mr. Perdue's campaign raised $5.8 million—$3.2 million from the candidate himself—and spent $5 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks election contributions.

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