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Washington Post analysis: Michelle Nunn has little chance of winning in Georgia

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According to the newly updated Washington Post’s “Election Lab model,” Georgia Democrats only have about five percent chance of winning the open U.S. Senate seat in 2014 midterm elections. The model is one of the first ones to give Peach State Republicans such an optimistic prediction.

The Post’s election model was developed by Monkey Cage blog author and political scientist John Sides. Sides named the still lackluster economy, an unpopular Democratic president, and the historical tendency of the president’s party to lose congressional seats in midterm elections as some issues that place Georgia Democrats on a losing side.

“Given these conditions, the political science literature suggests that quality Republican candidates should emerge,” said Sides. “This is because quality candidates are strategic: They tend to run when their chances of winning are higher. Thus, many Republican candidates have significant political experience in state legislatures, the U.S. House of Representatives, and in other offices.”

The likely Democratic nominee for the Senate is Michelle Nunn, a political newbie with a former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn for a father.

In a guest column for the Washington Post, political scientist Ben Highton supported the assumption of an almost certain GOP victory in Georgia by calling the state “very Republican.”

This last claim has been challenged by some local analysts, who are taking under consideration changing demographics in the South. Georgia is set to start turning purple or even blue within the next few years.

Also analysts such as Larry Sabato and Charlie Cook have called Georgia “leaning Republican” and “toss-up” state, respectively.

All political scientists agree that Republican win depends on quality of their candidate. Georgia Republicans already watched district 12 get away from them in 2012 after Republican Lee Anderson ran a lackluster campaign and lost to Democrat U.S. Rep. John Barrow in a decidedly conservative region.

According to recent polling, the GOP is likely to pick one of three candidates: businessman David Perdue, former Secretary of State Karen Handel, or U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston. All three Republicans have a solid support and good name recognition, which makes it certain that the Republican primary will end in a run-off election.

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