There’s been some encouraging news for Georgia Democrats this week. On Monday, Better Georgia released polling data that shows Georgia Democrats being competitive in Georgia’s 2014 open United States Senate race. In addition, Roll Call ran a piece about the groundwork that right wing conservative groups are doing to drop money in those races. On its face, the last piece of news doesn’t seem positive, but we think it is.
Earlier this year when Senator Saxby Chambliss announced he wasn’t going to run for re-election next fall it kicked off frenzy inside and outside of Georgia about the Democrats chances to gain the seat. Nationally, party insiders are salivating at Georgia’s changing demographics and the outcome of the 2012 presidential election in Georgia. Without any money directed to winning Georgia,President Obama received 46% of the vote, which was the best showing by Obama in any non-targeted state.
On Monday, Better Georgia released a poll testing Points of Light CEO Michelle Nunn’s bio against several potential Republican candidates. In almost all cases, Nunn was within the margin of error against all potential competitors and was eight points up against former gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel.
Despite the rosy poll results, it takes a lot of money to run a competitive statewide campaign for major office. Some will say this total is upwards of $10 million for a Senate race. To that end, Roll Call’s piece on Monday untangled a web of super PAC money likely coming to Georgia next year. Republicans Newt Gingrich, the Koch brothers and Las Vegas mogul Sheldon Anderson appear to be setting up shop in Georgia.
The mere notion that Anderson and the Koch brothers are coming to Georgia will scare some people. But Democrats shouldn’t worry too much. Democrats have proven in the last two election cycles that we can match the money and strategies of the best of the third party groups. There will be no more swift boating of democratic candidates without response. If the big GOP super PACs enter Georgia next year, they will likely be met by democratic super PACs.
Next year should be interesting. Georgia Democrats are making a comeback and next year is just the start. Expect new ideas, new candidates, and the best of all competitive races.