Thursday, August 12, 2010

Georgia U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

Georgia U.S. Senate

August 12, 2010
82 Days Until Election Day

Status: Republican Incumbent
2008 Presidential Result: Red State (South)

Outlook: Safe Republican

Six years ago, Republican Johnny Isakson captured an open seat in the U.S. Senate which had been held by a Democrat (although perhaps just a nominal one at that time) in what was one of the more foregone conclusions of any open Senate race that cycle. 2010 sees the veteran politician seeking a second term in the Senate, and there will not be much suspense again as Georgia will not be on the mind of the national campaign committees. The race will also not receive nearly as much attention in the state as the open contest for Governor will.

The well-funded incumbent faces a credible Democrat opponent in Mike Thurmond, the state's elected Labor Commissioner. Nonetheless, Isakson has remained fairly popular at home and is expected to easily defeat his opponent. Thurmond, like the Democrat defeated by Isakson six years ago is African-American, and is considered to have passed up more favorable political terrain in the state for an uphill race for the U.S. Senate. It is said that Thurmond intended to run for Lt. Governor this year, but was convinced by party leaders to make this race instead.

The 2008 U.S. Senate election in Georgia saw the other Republican incumbent forced into a runoff (which he would then win handily) on the heels of very high black voter turnout. Thurmond probably missed his best chance to run then, as this cycle should Senator Isakson prevail by at least 20 points.

Isakson campaign link:

2010 U.S. Senate races predicted thus far: 2 D, 8 R
Predicted U.S. Senate Balance of Power thus far: 42 D, 31 R