Primary Election Day In Georgia: Here Are The Races To Watch
by Andre Walker, Tue Jul 20, 2010 at 10:53:03 AM EDT
Today is primary election day in Georgia.
Democrats and Republicans have been casting ballots in their respective Party's primary since 7AM this morning.
Early voting concluded last week, and the Secretary of State says that an estimated 100,000 Georgians cast ballots in advance of today's primary [Associated Press (2010-7-16). Cobb, Fulton lead state in early voting totals. WTVM-TV(Columbus, GA). Retrieved on 2010-7-20.].
Election officials expect a low voter turnout, with some expecting participation not to exceed 35 percent.
The polls close this evening at 7PM, and here are some of the races that folks will be watching:
Former Gov. Roy Barnes has consistently held a wide lead in the polls conducted for the Democratic primary [Pettys, Dick (2010-7-9). New poll: Roy Barnes commands the field. Insider Advantage Georgia. Retrieved on 2010-7-20.].
Attorney General Thurbert Baker is a distant second.
We'll see if Baker and the other six Democratic gubernatorial candidates can hold Barnes under 50% plus one to force a runoff.
For nearly a year, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine led all the polls. In the last few weeks though, as his candidacy faced more scrutiny from the press, Oxendine finds himself locked in a tight battle for a spot in the August run-off with former Secretary of State Karen Handel. Handel currently leads the GOP field in the final poll taken for this race [Huge Poll Taken Sunday Night Shows Handel Continues To Surge. Insider Advantage Georgia. Retrieved on 2010-7-20.].
Lt. Governor -
Lt. Governor candidate Carol Porter is facing her own Alvin Green of sorts in fellow Democrat Tricia Carpenter McCracken.
Much like the surprise South Carolina Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, McCracken is listed first on the ballot; has done no campaigning; and doesn't even have a website promoting her candidacy.
To her credit, Porter is taking nothing for granted. She's been criss-crossing the state and even rolled out a round of robo-calls to likely Democratic voters within the past week.
Attorney General -
In one of the nastiest campaigns in recent memories, former Dougherty County District Attorney Ken Hodges and state Rep. Rob Teilhet (D - Smyrna) have torn each other apart with negative attacks [Weinman, Melissa (2010-7-15). Getting ugly: Negative ad campaigns are rolling out. Gainesville (Georgia) Times. Retrieved on 2010-7-20.].
Teilhet accused Hodges of lying about endorsements; an accusation that later itself proved to be untrue. Hodges, for his part, says Teilhet is nothing but a politician who has no experience in the courtroom.
This race is expected to be close, with the winner facing one of three Republicans vying for their Party's nomination.
In a re-match of the 2008 primary, former state Senator Regina Thomas will once again challenge Congressman John Barrow for the Democratic nomination.
This race will be a test of Democrats' anger at John Barrow for voting against the health care bill earlier this year. Barrow's vote cost him the support of several Democratic elected officials and even a local county party chairman.
If Thomas significantly improves upon the paltry 24% she garnered against Barrow two years ago, it could be seen as a sign that the incumbent Congressman may be vulnerable for a stronger primary challenge in two years.
That about sums up many of the major races in the Peach State. Any questions?