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Revision as of 22:00, 22 July 2014



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2014 U.S. Senate Elections in Georgia

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
May 20, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
David Perdue Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Saxby Chambliss Republican Party
Saxby Chambliss.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Toss Up[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Leans R[2]


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2014 U.S. House Elections

Flag of Georgia.png
Voters in Georgia will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the election on November 4, 2014.

The election will fill the Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R). Chambliss was first elected in 2002. On January 25, 2013, Chambliss announced that he was retiring at the end of his current term and would not seek re-election in 2014.[3]

The primary for the open seat was highlighted as one of the top five primaries to watch in 2014.[4] The crowded Republican field included Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston, businessman David Perdue, former secretary of state Karen Handel, Derrick Grayson and Art Gardner.[5] As the top two candidates, Jack Kingston and David Perdue went head to head in the Republican runoff primary on July 22, 2014.[6][7] Georgia law dictates that if no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two candidates advance to a runoff primary.[4][8]

In an unexpected twist, businessman David Perdue beat out Rep. Jack Kingston, a 20 year member of Congress, for the Republican nomination.

Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, beat out former state Senator Steen Miles, Branko Radulovacki and Todd Robinson for the Democratic nomination.[5][7] Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford will face Nunn and Perdue in the general election.[5]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 7, 2014
May 20, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Georgia is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[9][10][11]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by April 21, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 6, 2014.[12]

See also: Georgia elections, 2014

Incumbent: The election will fill the Senate seat currently held by Saxby Chambliss (R). Chambliss was first elected in 2002.

On January 25, 2013, Chambliss announced that he was retiring at the end of his current term and would not seek re-election in 2014. He cited gridlock in Congress and a lack of leadership from the White House as being the main reasons for his retirement. He denied rumors that his retirement was based on any potential primary challenges.[13]

On July 11, 2013, a federal judge ordered the state of Georgia to move its primary in 2014 from mid-July to May 20, so that overseas voters have sufficient time to get ballots for the July 22 runoffs, as required by federal law.[14]

In order to avoid a runoff primary election, a candidate had to receive fifty percent plus one vote to advance to the general election.[15]

Candidates

General election candidates


July 22, 2014, Republican primary runoff candidates


May 20, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Libertarian Party Third Party Candidates

Failed to file

Withdrew from race

Declined to run

Election results

Runoff primary results

U.S. Senate, Georgia Runoff Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Perdue 50.9% 245,725
Jack Kingston 49.1% 237,193
Total Votes 482,918
Source: Results via Associated Press


Primary results

U.S. Senate, Georgia Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMichelle Nunn 75% 246,369
Steen Miles 12% 39,418
Branko Radulovacki 9.7% 31,822
Todd Robinson 3.4% 11,101
Total Votes 328,710
Source: Georgia Secretary of State
U.S. Senate, Georgia Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Perdue 30.6% 185,466
Green check mark transparent.pngJack Kingston 25.8% 156,157
Karen Handel 22% 132,944
Phil Gingrey 10% 60,735
Paul Broun 9.6% 58,297
Derrick Grayson 1% 6,045
Art Gardner 0.9% 5,711
Total Votes 605,355
Source: Georgia Secretary of State

Race background

Primary to watch

The primary for the open seat was highlighted as one of the top five primaries to watch in 2014. The crowded Republican field included Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston, businessman David Perdue and former secretary of state Karen Handel. Georgia law dictates that if no candidate received a majority of the votes, the top two candidates advance to a runoff primary. As a result of the contentious Republican primary on May 20, 2014, David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston will face a run-off election on July 22, 2014.[47]

Race ratings

Washington Post top races

According to an analysis by The Washington Post, the U.S. Senate election in Georgia was considered one of the top 10 Senate races of 2014. Michelle Nunn has consistently strong polling and fundraising numbers.[48]

Issues

Terrorist attack

At a candidate forum in February 2014, Bob Johnson (R) said he would rather see another terrorist attack on the United States than have Transportation Security Agency (TSA) screenings at airports.[49]

Johnson said at the February 2014 forum, “Now this is going to sound outrageous, I’d rather see another terrorist attack, truly I would, than to give up my liberty as an American citizen. Give me liberty or give me death. Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our republic?”[49]

In a May 2014 statement, Johnson apologized for the comment but reiterated his criticism of the TSA: “In the heat of the moment, while making the point that I would much rather fight the enemy than our federal government, I said something stupid and should have chosen my words more carefully...As a Constitutional conservative, it angers me that we are giving up our liberty to the bureaucratic TSA and spying on our own people in the name of false security and that has to stop.”[49]

Keystone XL pipeline

On April 7, 2014, Michelle Nunn stated that she would support completion of the fourth phase of the Keystone XL pipeline in the name of economic development and national security.[50]

“I have a lot of friends who have different perspectives on Keystone. We need to continue to focus on green energy and finding sustainable sources of energy, but I do believe we should move forward with Keystone,” Nunn said.[50]

High school graduate


David Perdue's January 2014 speaking engagement in Bibb County.

Video of David Perdue from a January 2014 speaking engagement in Bibb County showed him dissecting how his educational experience compared to former Secretary of State Karen Handel’s.[51] Handel left home at 17, finished high school and went to work but never finished college.[51] Perdue holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Georgia Tech.[51]

In the video he said, “I mean, there’s a high school graduate in this race, OK? I’m sorry, but these issues are so much broader, so complex. There’s only one candidate in this race that’s ever lived outside the United States. How can you bring value to a debate about the economy unless you have any understanding about the free enterprise system and how — what it takes to compete in the global economy?”[51]

Perdue campaign spokesman Derrick Dickey said in a statement in April 2014, “David was simply making the case that he is the most qualified person in this race to help get our economy back on track so that we can start paying down the massive federal debt. His comment was based on facts that are a matter of public record.”[51]

While campaigning for Handel, Sarah Palin said she was “disappointed” by the comments made by Perdue and declared it a “sad day” for Republican politics.[52]

Eight days after Perdue’s remarks, he called Handel to apologize.[53]

Obama impeachment

Jack Kingston declined to comment in July 2014 when asked whether he supports impeaching President Barack Obama, but in a radio interview weeks prior he said it was a very serious possibility.[54]

Georgia businessman and Republican candidate David Perdue opposed impeachment of Barack Obama in July 2014. Spokesman Derrick Dickey said, "The best way to rein in the overreaching Obama administration is for Republicans to take back the Senate and for Congress to restore the balance of power in our federal government."[55]

Republican candidates Derrick Grayson, Eugene Yu and Paul Broun indicated during a tea party-sponsored candidate forum in February 2014 that they would support the impeachment of President Obama.[56]

Miles complaint

On November 12, 2013, Steen Miles (D) filed an official complaint with the Democratic Party of Georgia against Chairman Dubose Porter for violating the party’s bylaws.[57]

In a statement, Miles' campaign said: “Sadly, newly elected party Chair Dubose Porter is not a man of his word and is in violation of Section 7 Section 1.7 of the Georgia Democratic Party Bylaws which explicitly prohibits supporting a Democratic candidate who has opposition during a primary or special election."[57]

Campaign staff resigns

Four members of Phil Gingrey's campaign staff resigned on November 28, 2013.[58] General consultant Chip Lake, campaign manager John Porter, political director David Allen and grass-roots coordinator Justin Tomczak all stepped down from the campaign.[58]

General consultant Chip Lake said in a statement, “I have nothing but respect for Phil Gingrey. I wish him nothing but the best, but when you reach that point in a campaign where you’re at the crossroads, something’s got to give. When I left him yesterday I wished him the best and told him I thought it was very important for him to finish out this campaign the way that’s most comfortable for him...We just had some disagreements on overall campaign vision and structure, and everything kind of falls under that umbrella. When that happens, you try to work it out, and when you can’t work it out, you sit down and have difficult discussions on how to move forward.”[58]

Key votes

Below are important votes the current incumbent cast during the 113th Congress.

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[59] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Saxby Chambliss voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[60]

Polls

General election

Nunn v. Republican nominee
Poll Republican candidate Michelle Nunn (D)Other candidateUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Magellan Strategies
June 5-8, 2014
47%44%3%6%+/-3.56756
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.


General election (August 2014-Present)
Poll Michelle Nunn (D) David Perdue (R)Amanda Swafford (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Marist
October 31, 2014
44%48%3%4%+/-3.31,099
CNN/ORC
October 19-22, 2014
47%44%5%4%+/-3.51,009
SurveyUSA
October 10-13, 2014
48%45%3%4%+/-4.2800
Landmark (R)
October 7-9, 2014
45.7%46%3.9%4.4%+/-3.11,000
Rasmussen Reports
September 15-16, 2014
41%46%4%9%+/-4750
Landmark Communications
September 9-11, 2014
46%43.4%6.4%4.2%+/-2.91,109
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 8-11, 2014
38%44%6%10%+/-4884
Survey USA
September 9-8, 2014
44%47%5%4%+/-4.2558
GaPundit.com
August 24-25, 2014
44.74%43.09%7.41%4.75%+/-2.471,578
Landmark Communications
August 20-21, 2014
47%40%0%10%+/-4.0600
AVERAGES 44.54% 44.65% 4.37% 5.84% +/-3.57 938.7
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


General election (August 2013-August 2014)
Poll Michelle Nunn (D) David Perdue (R)Amanda Swafford (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
SurveyUSA
August 14-17, 2014
41%50%3%6%+/-4.2560
Insider Advantage
August 12-13, 2014
40%47%8%5%+/-3.7719
Hicks Evaluation Group
August 8-10, 2014
42%48%0%11%+/-3.48788
Vox Populi Polling
July 27-28, 2014
40%49%0%10%+/-3.9624
Landmark Communications
July 25, 2014
47%43%0%7%+/-3.8750
Rasmussen Reports
July 23-24, 2014
40%46%0%10%+/-4.0750
Public Policy Polling
July 9-12, 2014
48%41%0%10%+/--516
SurveyUSA
June 3-5, 2014
38%43%0%14%+/-3.2999
Rasmussen Reports]
May 21-22, 2014
45%42%0%6%+/-4.0750
Landmark Communications
May 19, 2014
45%44%0%11%+/-3.01,000
Saint Leo University
May 5-6, 2014
37%41%0%15%+/-4.0689
Atlanta Journal Constitution
May 5-8, 2014
41%45%0%13%+/-4.01,012
NBC News/Marist Poll
April 30 - May 6, 2014
45%44%0%9%+/-1.92,608
Landmark/RosettaStone
March 23-24, 2014
33%0%29.5%37.5%+/-4.0600
Public Policy Polling
August 2-5, 2013
40%40%0%21%+/-4.3520
AVERAGES 41.47% 41.53% 2.7% 12.37% +/-2.9 859
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


Primary election

Republican primary candidates
Poll Phil Gingrey Paul BrounKaren HandelJack KingstonDavid PerdueEugene YuDerrick GraysonArt GardnerOther/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
InsiderAdvantage
May 18, 2014
11%10%17%17%26%0%0%0%18%+/-3.3852
InsiderAdvantage
May 12-14, 2014
9%10%17%19%27%0%0%0%9%+/--1,182
RosettaStone
May 12, 2014
7%11%20%18%22%0%0%0%22%+/-3.4800
SurveyUSA
May 8-12, 2014
10%10%16%19%27%0%3%1%14%+/-4.0634
Saint Leo University
May 5-6, 2014
8%13%15%16%26%0%1%0%15%+/-4.0689
InsiderAdvantage
April 13-15, 2014
9%11%13%15%19%0%0%0%33%+/-3.4804
Landmark/RosettaStone
March 23-24, 2014
13%15%10%15%21%0%0%0%25%+/-4.0600
InsiderAdvantage
March 23-24, 2014
8%10%5%15%17%0%0%0%45%+/-3.26859
Hicks Evaluation Group/Apache Political Communication
February 13-16, 2014
10%11%10%11%13%0.3%5%8%43%+/-3.25926
The polling company, Inc/Woman Trend
January 31-February 1, 2014
19%13%14%11%8%2%7%0%0%+/-3.9600
Public Policy Polling
August 2-5, 2013
25%19%13%15%5%0%0%0%20%+/-4.3520
Landmark/RosettaStone
March 28, 2013
22%16%14%8%1%0%0%0%39%+/-4.1570
AVERAGES 12.58% 12.42% 13.67% 14.92% 17.67% 0.19% 1.33% 0.75% 23.58% +/-2.86 753
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


Democratic primary candidates
Poll Branko Radulovacki Michelle NunnSteen MilesTodd RobinsonUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
SurveyUSA
May 8-12, 2014
5%59%7%10%19%+/-4.2549
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Endorsements

Republican candidates

Georgia Senate Republican Contested Primary
Endorsement/Contribution Paul Broun Phil Gingrey Jack Kingston David Perdue Karen Handel Derrick Grayson Art Gardner
Ron Paul April 25, 2013
The Madison Project February 11, 2014
The Susan B. Anthony List March 4, 2014
The Republican Liberty Caucus March 26, 2014
Sarah Palin March 27, 2014
Georgia Right to Life April 1, 2014
The American Future Fund April 10, 2014

Jack Kingston

  • The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) endorsed Jack Kingston for the July 22 Republican primary runoff.[61]
    • "Jack is a critical ally of the NRA in protecting our Second Amendment freedoms. In Congress, Jack prevented taxpayer funds from being abused to promote gun control and for other political purposes. Jack's exceptional leadership on behalf of law-abiding gun owners has earned him an 'A+' rating from the NRA," said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund.
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed Jack Kingston in his primary battle against businessman David Perdue on June 10, 2014.[62]
    • "Now is the time for conservative reformers like Jack Kingston who will take bold action to shake up the status quo and renew the American Dream for generations to come. I urge all Georgia Republicans to unite around conservative Jack Kingston in the July 22 runoff election," Gingrich said in a statement.[62]
  • Phil Gingrey, who finished fourth in the Republican primary, endorsed Jack Kingston in the runoff primary over David Perdue on June 4, 2014.[63]
  • Rep. Tom Price endorsed Jack Kingston in the Republican Senate primary runoff against businessman David Perdue.[64]
    • "Jack Kingston has always been a steadfast leader in the fight for conservative principles. On a broad range of issues, he's built a proven record of cutting wasteful spending and holding Washington accountable," he added. "He doesn't shy away from making the tough but important decisions," Price said in a statement.[64]

Herschel Walker's endorsement for Jack Kingston in May 2014.
  • Heisman Trophy-winning University of Georgia football legend Herschel Walker endorsed Kingston in an ad sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on May 27, 2014.[66]
    • "Thats why I want my friend, Jack Kingston, carrying the ball for us in Washington," said Walker in the ad.[66]
  • Julianne Thompson, co-chair of the Atlanta Tea Party, endorsed Kingston on May 27, 2014.[67]
    • Thompson was a major supporter of Karen Handel, who was eliminated in the Republican primary.
    • “We do not need someone to be another member of the Senate Country Club. We need courage…someone who is strong enough to fight for our principles in an atmosphere that is sometimes very difficult. We also need someone who is accessible and respects the fact that the people that elected him will hold him accountable.”[67]

Paul Broun

  • The Republican Liberty Caucus endorsed Broun on March 26, 2014.[69]
    • “Dr. Broun was called the ‘accidental Congressman’ after being elected to Congress, but then he shocked the political class again the following year by defeating the Georgia State House Majority Leader in a primary challenge. Paul Broun was easily re-elected because of his limited government, pro-liberty philosophy, and his wins are proof-positive that the Liberty Movement was not just a flash in the pan, but a sustainable grass-roots antidote to big-government Republicanism,” said RLC-GA Chairman Ben Johnson.[70]

Karen Handel

  • The Susan B. Anthony List endorsed Karen Handel (R) on March 4, 2014.[72]
    • "Karen Handel is a strong, articulate pro-life leader and the best candidate in Georgia to speak to the errors of abortion-centered feminism and one of its chief advocates, Michelle Nunn. Karen fearlessly exposed the false roots of the 'war on women' PR campaign when she called America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, a bully – and busted the myth that they provide mammograms," said Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser.[72]
  • The American Future Fund (AFF) endorsed Karen Handel on April 9, 2014.[74]
    • AFF president Nick Ryan said in an email that Handel is an “excellent conservative record and is a proven leader.”[74]
    • “Karen will be an outstanding U.S. Senator and we will do everything we can do ensure she is successful,” Ryan said.

Democratic candidates

  • EMILY's List, the pro-abortion-rights Democratic women’s group, endorsed Michelle Nunn on August 26, 2013.[75] The group’s president, Stephanie Schriock, said Nunn could help Democrats hold the Senate by winning in the red-leaning state, where a crowded field of candidates is vying for the Republican nomination.[75]
    • “She’s tied for the lead in the polls in one of our only chances to win a GOP Senate seat. It’s important that we elect a Democratic woman like Michelle, but it’s just as important that we keep her right-wing, extremist opponents out of the Senate,” Schriock said in a fundraising email to supporters.[75]

Debates

Republican candidates

The Republican candidates took part in a debate at the Anderson Conference Center in Macon on March 8, 2014.[76] All the candidates spoke of their conservative values and specific features they brought to the table for voters.[76] Other highlights included:[76]

  • Phil Gingrey explained that his experience as a doctor will help the Senate.
    • "With Obamacare having passed 4 years ago and still 60% of American people are opposed to it, I think Georgia could certainly use a doctor, a physician in the Senate," said Gingrey.
  • Karen Handel focused on the need for new leadership.
    • "Results matter. And the surest way to keep getting more of the same, is to keep electing the same people over and over. We are getting the worst results out of Congress right now and we need to have new leadership. An individual with a track record, a proven track record, like I have of actually getting the job done," Handel said.
  • Jack Kingston concentrated strongly on Robins Air Force Base.
    • "I'm very concerned with what the base realignment closure commission could do in the next round for Warner Robins.We want to make sure it has lots of missions because it has about a four million dollar economic impact in our area."
  • Derrick Grayson highlighted his constitutional beliefs.
    • "The power belongs to the people--not the people in Washington D.C. They serve us, we don't work for them. We don't ask them to do for us what they're supposed to, we tell them to do what it is we want them to do, after the rule of law of course," Grayson said.
  • Paul Broun emphasized the Constitutional bounds being broken.
    • "All of the problems that we see--out of control spending, the unsustainable debt. All of those are symptoms of a government that has left its bounds of the Constitution. I believe in Constitution and limited government as our founding fathers meant for it to be. That's what I've been fighting for in Washington that's what I've been voting in Washington."
  • David Perdue highlighted his experience as a businessman.
    • "Well I think we've got a full blown financial crisis, and I think our career politicians cause it. I just don't think they have the depth or background to really fix it. We only have ten people in the United States Senate who have any business experience, and I just think we need to look outside that body for fresh ideas."
  • Art Gardner focused on a need for a shift in thinking for the Republican Party.
    • "Look, let's agree on what we can agree on, which is, fiscal matters and defense, and let's agree to disagree about some other things. And if we can do that--build a coalition around what we can all agree on--we can produce a candidate who can appeal to a much larger base than we've been appealing to."

Media


Ending Spending Action Fund's March 2014 ad, "Last Thing."

Citizens for a Working America PAC's April 2014 ad on Jack Kingston.

American Future Fund's May 2014 ad, "Playmakers."

Ending Spending

Ending Spending Action Fund, a conservative super PAC devoted to fiscal restraint, released a 30-second ad on March 31, 2014, that attacked Michelle Nunn (D) for supporting higher tax rates and the 2010 health law known as Obamacare.[77]

The group released another ad in April 2014 that attacked Phil Gingrey (R). The ad accused Gingrey of requesting earmarks and voting to increase the debt limit, and it featured a closed-door remark by Gingrey from September 2013 when he said, “I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year.”[78][79]

Brian Baker, president of the Ending Spending Action Fund, said his group was going after Phil Gingrey because it considered him unsuitable for the U.S. Senate.[74]

Georgia deserves a senator who will stand up for taxpayers. It’s not Michelle Nunn and it’s not Phil Gingrey either,” Baker said.[74]

Gingrey's campaign manager Patrick Sebastian released a statement in response to the ad:[78]

“This attack on Rep. Gingrey is a clear indication his establishment opponents see that he’s on-the-move, and is the most viable conservative in the race. The attacks on conservative Republicans like Phil Gingrey from this special interest group are straight out of Barack Obama’s liberal playbook. Georgians will not let these Chicago-style tactics on leaders who have proven records in cutting spending, protecting our military and veterans, and fighting Obamacare stop them from supporting conservative Republicans like Phil Gingrey. Twice named most conservative member of Congress, Phil has fought to reduce the debt, cut the deficit, cap spending, balance the budget, and — throughout his time in D.C. — has returned more than $1.4 million of his personal office’s funds to the U.S. Treasury. It’s telling that this shadowy group would attack Phil’s fight to stop Congress’ Obamacare exemptions. Phil believes members of Congress and their staff’s should have to live under the laws they create. That’s why he introduced the ‘No Special Treatment for Congress Act,’ which reverses the federal taxpayer subsidies intended for members of Congress and their staffs.”

Citizens PAC

  • Citizens for a Working America bought another $500,000 of airtime in Georgia in July 2014, bringing its runoff investment to $1 million.[80][81]
    • The second ad buy focused on Khalid Satary, a Palestinian felon accused of funneling campaign money to Kingston via illegal straw donors. Kingston has said he did not know Satary and returned the disputed funds after the press started asking questions.[80]
  • Citizens for a Working America, a South Carolina-based super PAC, released an ad in April 2014 that slammed Jack Kingston as a "career politician" and the "King of earmarks."[82][83][84]
    • "Career politician Jack Kingston's been in Washington over 20 years. So what's he done? Kingston earned the title 'King of Earmarks.' He voted to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on Obama's Cash for Clunkers used car program, and voted to raise the debt ceiling. Kingston even took thousands in pay raises. Now Kingston wants a promotion to the Senate. A promotion? Well, conservatives have message: Hey Jack, you're not going back," the ad said.[82]
    • The group said in a letter authorizing a media company to handle its ad placements in the race that it endorsed David Perdue and its communications with the public "will independently advocate for the election of David Perdue and/or for the defeat of his opponents."[85]

AFF

  • The American Future Fund released an ad for Karen Handel on May 8, 2014.[86]
    • AFF president Nick Ryan said in an email that Handel had an “excellent conservative record and is a proven leader.”[74]
    • “Karen will be an outstanding U.S. Senator and we will do everything we can do ensure she is successful,” Ryan said.[74]

Michelle Nunn


Michelle Nunn's first campaign ad, "Optimist."

Michelle Nunn's second campaign ad, "What's Going On."

Michelle Nunn's third campaign ad, "Point Guard."
  • Michelle Nunn released her first ad, "Optimist," on April 3, 2014. The ad, an introductory spot, did not mention the Democratic Party and instead emphasized on her centrist, problem-solver image with a photo of her with George H.W. Bush. In the ad, Nunn stated that she was running for Senate because she was “optimistic about Georgia’s future.”[87]
  • Nunn released her second ad of the campaign, "What's Going on," on April 22, 2014.[88]
    • In the ad, Nunn said, “What’s going on in Washington has to stop. Politicians fighting and bickering and too often forgetting about the people they’re supposed to represent. That’s why I’m for banning members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists. I don’t think congressmen should get paid unless they pass a budget. And no one in Congress should get a subsidy to pay for their own health care.”[88]
  • Nunn's third ad of the campaign, "Point Guard," released on April 27, 2014, featured her father, former United States Senator Sam Nunn.[89]
    • In the biographical ad, Nunn said she followed her father’s footsteps into basketball but not politics. The ad was another attempt by Nunn to introduce herself to voters ahead of the May 20 Democratic primary.[89]

Karen Handel


Handel's first television ad, released in April 2014, "Integrity."

Handel's April 2014 radio ad, "Degree."
  • Karen Handel released the first ad of the campaign on September 5, 2013.[90] The radio ad, running on talk radio and country music stations in the Atlanta, Athens and Savannah markets, attacked opponents Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun for failing to help kill Obamacare.[90]
  • Handel released her first television ad on April 11, 2014. The ad, narrated by Sarah Palin, highlighted Handel's "proven record of getting conservative results."[91]
  • A week after David Perdue criticized her for being a "high school graduate," Handel released an ad that addressed the comments. The ad played an audio clip of Perdue's comments before Handel went on to explain her qualifications.[92]

Jack Kingston


Kingston's first campaign ad, released in February 2014, "Conservative Values."

Kingston's March 2014 ad, "Responsibility."

Kingston's April 2014 ad, "Call Me Maybe."

Kingston's May 2014 ad, "Kingston Perdue attack ad."

Kingston's May 2014 ad, "Backward Priorities."
  • On January 27, 2013, Kingston's campaign announced that it reserved $1.3 million in television airtime for the two months prior to the May 20 primary.[93]
    • “The generosity and support of our donors allows us to lock in rates now before they become more expensive,” Kingston campaign manager Chris Crawford said in a statement.[93]
  • On February 26, 2014, Kingston launched his first ad of the campaign, a positive biographical ad to introduce himself to voters.[94]
    • In the ad, a narrator said, "In uncertain times, we need unfailing principles...His parents were raised during the Depression. Living in Athens, they taught him the value of a dollar and the virtue of hard work. Those principles steer Jack Kingston. Jack worked a the Port of Savannah, helped grow a business, married Libby and raised their children in the same church where they said 'I do.' Hard work, conservative values. It's what drives America. It's what drives Jack Kingston."[94]
  • On March 20, 2013, Kingston released his second ad of the campaign. The ad emphasized his "frugal ways", and argued that he was the most fiscally conservative candidate in the race.[95]
    • "This car has been with the Kingston family for almost 20 years. I drive it because it still runs. Growing up, my parents taught me the value of every hard-earned dollar. In Congress, I cut my office budget and returned over $1 million to taxpayers, and I cut Obama’s budget over $3 billion. I'm fighting to shrink big government, balance the budget and stop ObamaCare. I'm Jack Kingston, and I approve this message because you and I know the value of a dollar, and it’s time Washington learns it, too," Kingston said, standing in front of his station wagon.[95]
  • On April 4, 2014, Kingston released an ad that featured a fake phone call from President Barack Obama.[96][97]
    • In the ad the "fake Obama" said, "Kingston, this is the president. You've got to back off Obamacare...Kingston, let me be clear: I do not want you in the Senate. Call me back, Kingston, please."[96]
    • Kingston then appeared on screen and said to the camera, "A call to stop fighting Obamacare is one call I'll never answer."[96]
  • On May 9, 2014, ten days prior to the primary election, Kingston released an ad that attacked Perdue's business record and accused him of supporting Common Core education standards.[98]
    • The ad mocked Perdue's ads that featured "crying babies" and attacked his record while a baby dressed as Perdue made a mess with a cake.[98]
    • "Meet Davey Perdue. He's been distracting you with babies, but he's the one who's made a mess. Perdue chewed up businesses, 8,000 jobs were lost. He took a million-dollar bonus, and also millions more from Obama's stimulus. And Perdue has no problem with Obama's common core standards which nationalize schools, eating away at local control," the ad's narrator said.
    • "David Perdue: Something doesn't smell right because the change he wants stinks," the ad concluded.[98]
    • Around the same time, Kingston sent out mailings that addressed Common Core education standards.[99] Perdue was shown next to President Barack Obama in the mailer that addressed Perdue’s comments on Common Core, the controversial educational standards movement launched in part by Perdue's cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.[99]
  • Kingston went after President Barack Obama over military cuts and promoted his own support for the state’s many military installations in a May 12, 2014, ad, "Backward Priorities."[100]
    • In the opening seconds of the ad, Kingston said the president “has it all wrong” by “growing government with wasteful spending while drastically cutting our military.”
    • Kingston used the ad to both highlight his opposition to Barack Obama, while also giving a specific example of how the state benefited from his many years in Congress.[100]

David Perdue


David Perdue's February 2014 ad, "Outsider."

David Perdue's April 2014 ad, "Bring."
  • David Perdue released a five-minute video featuring his Georgia upbringing and business career, and featured his cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.[101]
    • The ad also featured an image of crying babies wearing shirts and wielding props identifying them as the other four top contenders in the race.[101]
  • Perdue released a follow-up video on April 5, 2014, "Bring." The ad emphasized Perdue’s outsider message.[102]
    • In the ad, Perdue said, "I’ve never run for office, but I have over forty years of experience in the real world. I understand the global free market system, how to generate economic growth, which creates quality jobs. Real change sometimes takes an outside perspective just like it did at Reebok and Dollar General. Fresh eyes, determination and a bucket full of common sense with the right experience. That’s what I’ll bring to the U.S Senate. I’m David Perdue. I approve this message."[102]

Gingrey's November 2013 ad, "Repeal or Go Home."

Broun's February 2014 ad, "Conservative."

Phil Gingrey

  • Phil Gingrey vowed in a television advertisement released November 12, 2013, to repeal Obamacare in his first term as a senator or “go home.” The ad, reportedly costing six-figures, ran in Georgia’s four largest media markets.[103]
    • “As a doctor, I took an oath to do no harm. And Obamacare is so harmful, I voted to repeal or defund it over 40 times. But our efforts die in the Senate. I’ll help repeal Obamacare in my first term, or go home,” Gingrey said in the ad.[103]

Paul Broun

  • Broun released first television ad of his campaign on February 25, 2014.[104] In the ad, he argued that Democrats fear facing him the most in the general election.[104]
    • Broun said in the ad, "The Democratic Party is attacking me for one reason: I'm the strongest conservative running for the U.S. Senate. Liberals fear a genuine conservative candidate. I've never requested an earmark or supported a debt-ceiling increase. I fought to completely repeal ObamaCare and opposed bills that fund it, and I'll never back down from defending Georgia conservative values. That's why I'm the only Republican they're running ads against."[105]

Campaign donors

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season.

David Perdue (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[106]October 15, 2013$0.00$1,811,116$(457,769)$1,353,346
Year End[107]January 31, 2014$1,353,346$743,506$(335,470)$1,761,382
April Quarterly[108]April 15, 2014$1,761,382$823,573$(1,634,859)$950,096
Pre-Primary[109]July 2, 2014$459,575$974,815$(1,150,850)$783,540
Running totals
$4,353,010$(3,578,948)


Jack Kingston (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[110]April 15, 2013$988,077.99$845,644.17$(79,709.58)$1,754,012.58
July Quarterly[111]July 18, 2013$0.00$2,534,452.18$(186,495.14)$2,347,957.04
October Quarterly[112]October 15, 2013$2,347,957.04$811,519.35$(263,987.37)$2,895,489.02
Year-end[113]January 30, 2014$2,895,489$895,016$(364,709)$3,425,796
April Quarterly[114]April 15, 2014$3,425,796$1,094,210$(2,419,748)$2,100,258
Running totals
$6,180,841.7$(3,314,649.09)
Phil Gingrey (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[115]April 17, 2013$1,871,933.74$667,105.44$(106,317.64)$2,430,721.54
July Quarterly[116]July 18, 2013$2,430,721.54$436,306.63$(302,931.55)$2,564,096.62
October Quarterly[117]October 13, 2013$2,564,096.62$289,407.14$(266,095.81)$2,587,407.95
Year-end[118]January 31, 2014$2,587,407$137,555$(364,694)$2,360,269
April Quarterly[119]April 15, 2014$2,360,498$327,599$(243,400)$2,444,697
Running totals
$1,857,973.21$(1,283,439)
Paul C. Broun (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[120]April 17, 2013$155,566.52$209,308.71$(147,819.50)$217,055.73
July Quarterly[121]July 22, 2013$217,055.73$387,638.58$(203,816.88)$400,877.43
October Quarterly[122]October 13, 2013$400,877.43$277,466.90$(230,852.51)$447,493.82
Year-end[123]January 31, 2014$447,493$248,080$(508,396)$187,178
April Quarterly[124]April 15, 2014$187,178$338,600$(301,063)$224,715
Running totals
$1,461,094.19$(1,391,947.89)
Derrick Grayson (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[125]October 15, 2013$806.59$1,158.90$(1,274.82)$690.67
Year End[126]January 31, 2014$690$2,027$(1,521)$1,186
Running totals
$3,185.9$(2,795.82)
Karen Handel (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[127]July 15, 2013$0.00$154,015.08$(3,956.80)$150,058.28
October Quarterly[128]October 15, 2013$150,058.28$286,414.38$(124,495.51)$311,977.15
Year End[129]January 31, 2014$311,977$169,781$(153,836)$327,921
April Quarterly[130]April 15, 2014$327,921$295,682$(236,809)$286,795
Running totals
$905,892.46$(519,097.31)
Todd Robinson (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[131]October 15, 2013$0.00$3,745.00$(3,644.01)$100.99
Year End[132]January 31, 2014$100$3,318$(3,318)$100
April Quarterly[133]April 15, 2014$100$10,977$(8,141)$2,935
Running totals
$18,040$(15,103.01)
Michelle Nunn (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[134]October 15, 2013$0.00$1,731,790.45$(275,157.05)$1,456,633.40
Year End[135]January 31, 2014$1,456,633$1,602,020$(599,078)$2,459,575
April Quarterly[136]April 15, 2014$2,459,575$2,425,943$(942,772)$3,942,746
July Quarterly[137]July 15, 2014$3,681,570$2,609,611$(1,539,645)$4,751,536
Running totals
$8,369,364.45$(3,356,652.05)
Steen Miles (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[138]April 15, 2014$0$10,423$(8,877)$670
Running totals
$10,423$(8,877)
Branko Radulovacki (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[139]October 15, 2013$75.00$103,433.43$(22,617.40)$80,891.03
Year End[140]January 31, 2014$80,891$39,893$(35,911)$86,221
April Quarterly[141]April 15, 2014$86,221$30,217$(32,972)$83,466
Running totals
$173,543.43$(91,500.4)


Third quarter

Karen Handel

Karen Handel reported having raised $286,000 in the third quarter of 2013, with $310,000 cash-on-hand.[142]

Paul Broun

Paul Broun reported raising $280,000 in the third quarter, and had $450,000 cash-on-hand.[142]

David Perdue

David Perdue invested $1 million of his own money into his campaign, having announced on October 10, 2013, that he donated $500,000 and loaned $500,000 to his campaign.[143] The investment boosted his fundraising fund to more than $1.8 million and left him with $1.3 million in cash on hand as of September 30, 2013.[143]

“I wouldn’t expect others to invest in a cause that I was not willing to invest in myself However, I do not believe in self-funding a campaign. After these first weeks, I am confident that people are responding and we will have the resources needed to get our message out to the voters,” Perdue said in a statement. [143]

Jack Kingston

In the 2013 third quarter fundraising report Jack Kingston reported having raised slightly more than $800,000 and had $2.9 million cash on hand.[144] The report marks the third quarter in a row that he has raised more than $800,000 and had no debt reported.[144]

Michelle Nunn

In her first 10 weeks as a candidate, Nunn raised $1.7 million and ended the period with $1.4 million cash-on hand.[145][143]

On December 12, 2013, former Sen. Richard Lugar’s leadership political action committee, The 19th Star PAC, sent $5,000 to Nunn's campaign.[146] Nunn also received a donation from former Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia.[146] Nunn’s father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, worked closely with Lugar while in the Senate.[146]

April 2013

According to campaign finance reports from April 2013, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) had raised $666,000 and had $2.4 million cash-on-hand. Rep. Paul Broun (R) had raised $209,000 and had $217,000 cash-on-hand. Then-rumored candidate Rep. Jack Kingston (R) reportedly raised $846,000 and had $1.8 million cash-on-hand. Other candidates Rep. Tom Price (R) had reportedly raised $571,000 and had $2.1 million cash-on-hand in the April 2013 reports, while Rep. John Barrow (D) raised $436,000 and had $440,000 cash-on-hand.[147]

Outside spending

Top contractors from the defense industry put their money behind Rep. Jack Kingston (R) in a member versus member battle for the nomination in the primary election.[148] Early in the election cycle, he emerged as the top recipient of campaign contributions from top defense firms.[148] As of July 2013, he reported $65,000 in donations from PACs for major defense contractors — the most of any member of Congress. Fellow Republican candidate Phil Gingrey reportedly raised $27,500 from defense contractors in 2013.[148]

Conservative super PAC Ending Spending initially indicated an expected $150,000 total ad buy.[149] In April 2014, the group confirmed that it expected to spend upwards of $1.3 million in the race.[150]

President H.W. Bush

In June 2014, former President George H.W. Bush wrote a fundraising letter to Republicans saying he is giving to the Senate Battleground Fund, run by the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and encouraged others to do the same saying ,“I am writing today to ask you to consider doing the same.”[151]

“Every indicator thus far suggests the Democratic nominee in Georgia will be well-funded, and stands to benefit greatly from a relatively easy primary period and the absence of a run-off challenge. The Senate Battleground Fund will try to erase or at least minimize that clear advantage, and ensure the Republican nominee enters the general election later this summer with a strong breeze in his sails – ready to propel him to victory,” Bush wrote in the letter.[151]

Election history

2010

On November 2, 2010, Johnny Isakson won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Michael "Mike" Thurmond (D), Chuck Donovan (L), Steve Davis (I), Raymond Beckworth (I) and Brian Russell Brown (I) in the general election.[152]

U.S. Senate, Georgia General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJohnny Isakson Incumbent 58.3% 1,489,904
     Democratic Michael "Mike" Thurmond 39% 996,515
     Libertarian Chuck Donovan 2.7% 68,750
     Independent Steve Davis 0% 52
     Independent Raymond Beckworth 0% 24
     Independent Brian Russell Brown 0% 12
Total Votes 2,555,257

2008

On November 4, 2008, Saxby Chambliss won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Jim Martin (D), Allen Buckley (L), Elanor Garcia (I) and William Salomone, Jr (I) in the general election.[153]

U.S. Senate, Georgia General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSaxby Chambliss incumbent 49.8% 1,867,097
     Democratic Jim Martin 46.8% 1,757,393
     Libertarian Allen Buckley 3.4% 127,923
     Independent Elanor Garcia 0% 43
     Independent William Salomone, Jr 0% 29
Total Votes 3,752,485

See also

External links

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