United States Senate elections in Georgia, 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:
Pending
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.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 7, 2014
May 20, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Georgia has an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary. When runoff elections are used, voters must vote in same party's runoff election as they voted for in the first round election.

Voter registration: Pending

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.[3]

On July 11, 2013, a federal judge ordered the state of Georgia to move its primary in 2014 from mid-July to June 3, so that overseas voters have sufficient time to get ballots in case there are any runoffs, as required by federal law. Runoff primary elections would still take place on August 6, 2013.[4]

Candidates

Note: Prior to the signature filing deadline, candidates will be added when Ballotpedia writers come across declared candidates. If you see a name of a candidate who is missing, please email us and we will add that name. As the election draws closer, more information will be added to this page.

Announced candidates

Potential candidates

Withdrew from race

Declined to run

Race background

Businessman David Perdue and 1st District Representative Jack Kingston beat out Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and two other candidates--Derrick Grayson and Art Gardner--to advance to the July 22 Republican runoff primary.[34] David Perdue, a political newcomer and former CEO of Dollar General, had the lead in the May 20 Republican primary with approximately a third of the total votes.[35] Georgia law dictates that if no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two candidates advance to a runoff primary.[36]

The winner of the runoff will face Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, in the general election.[34][37] In hypothetical polling match-ups, Nunn has topped the Republican nominee.

Early campaign activity

After Saxby Chambliss' announcement on January 25, 2013, that he was retiring at the end of his current term and would not seek re-election in 2014, Paul Broun filed paperwork for his candidacy on February 6, 2013.[38] Broun's lack of mastery in raising campaign funds, having ended his 2012 campaign with just $155,566 cash on hand, was one area of concern for his ability to win the seat.[39] Tom Price (R), rumored to be a candidate early in the campaign, had nearly $1.6 million cash on hand in his campaign account in February 2013.[39]

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 already included Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston, businessman David Perdue and former secretary of state Karen Handel, as of December 2013. Georgia law dictates that if no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two candidates advance to a runoff primary.[40]

Race ratings

Washington Post top 10 races

According to an analysis by The Washington Post, the U.S. Senate election in Georgia is considered one of the top 10 Senate races of 2014. Michelle Nunn had a strong fundraising run in the third quarter of 2013.[41]

Issues

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 funds 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.[42] 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.[43]

Campaign staff resigns

Four members of Phil Gingrey's campaign staff resigned on November 28, 2013.[44] General consultant Chip Lake, campaign manager John Porter, political director David Allen and grass-roots coordinator Justin Tomczak all stepped down from the campaign.[44]

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.”[44]

Polls

Republican primary

Possible Republican primary candidates
Poll Phil Gingrey Paul BrounKaren HandelJack KingstonDavid PerdueEugene YuDerrick GraysonArt GardnerOther/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Landmark/RosettaStone survey
March 28, 2013
22%16%14%8%1%0%0%0%39%+/-4.1570
Public Policy Polling
August 2-5, 2013
25%19%13%15%5%0%0%0%20%+/-4.3520
The polling company, inc/Woman Trend
January 31-February 1, 2014
19%13%14%11%8%2%7%0%+/-3.9600
Hicks Evaluation Group/Apache Political Communication
February 13-16, 2013
10%11%10%11%13%0.3%5%8%43%+/-3.25926
AVERAGES 19% 14.75% 12.75% 11.25% 6.75% 0.58% 3% 2% 25.5% +/-3.89 654
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

General election (August 2014-Present)
Poll Michelle Nunn (D) David Perdue (R)Amanda Swafford (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
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 44.31% 44.31% 4.46% 6.29% +/-3.61 909.88
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


Endorsements

Republican candidates

Paul Broun (R) received an endorsement from Ron Paul on April 25, 2013.[20] In the statement Paul stated, “Paul Broun and I worked together in the House to bring some necessary oversight to the Federal Reserve. I endorse Paul Broun on his candidacy to the U.S. Senate.”[20]

The Madison Project endorsed Broun on February 11, 2014.[45]

Democratic candidates

EMILY’s List, the pro-abortion-rights Democratic women’s group, said August 26, 2013, it is endorsing Michelle Nunn for the open Georgia Senate seat.[46] 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.[46]

“She’s tied for the lead in the polls in one of our only chances to win a GOP Senate seat,” Schriock said in a fundraising email to supporters. “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.”[46]

Media


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

Perdue's February 2014 ad, "Outsider."

Broun's February 2014 ad, "Conservative."

Karen Handel

Karen Handel released the first ad of the campaign on September 5, 2013.[47]. The radio ad, running on talk radio and country music stations in the Atlanta, Athens and Savannah markets, attacks opponents Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun for failing to help kill Obamacare.[47]

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.[48]

“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,” Gingrey said in the ad. “But our efforts die in the Senate. I’ll help repeal Obamacare in my first term, or go home.”[48]

Jack Kingston

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.[49]

“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.[49]

On February 26, 2014, Kingston launched his first ad of the campaign, a positive biographical ad to introduce himself to voters.[50]

In the ad, a narrator says, "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."[50]


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

David Perdue

Perdue released a five-minute video featuring his Georgia upbringing and business career, and featured his cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.[51]

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.[51]

Paul Broun

Broun released first television ad of his Senate campaign on February 25, 2014.[52] In the ad, he argued that Democrats fear facing him the most in the general election.[52]

Broun says 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."[53]

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[54]October 15, 2013$0.00$1,811,116$(457,769)$1,353,346
Year End[55]January 31, 2014$1,353,346$743,506$(335,470)$1,761,382
April Quarterly[56]April 15, 2014$1,761,382$823,573$(1,634,859)$950,096
Pre-Primary[57]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[58]April 15, 2013$988,077.99$845,644.17$(79,709.58)$1,754,012.58
July Quarterly[59]July 18, 2013$0.00$2,534,452.18$(186,495.14)$2,347,957.04
October Quarterly[60]October 15, 2013$2,347,957.04$811,519.35$(263,987.37)$2,895,489.02
Year-end[61]January 30, 2014$2,895,489$895,016$(364,709)$3,425,796
April Quarterly[62]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[63]April 17, 2013$1,871,933.74$667,105.44$(106,317.64)$2,430,721.54
July Quarterly[64]July 18, 2013$2,430,721.54$436,306.63$(302,931.55)$2,564,096.62
October Quarterly[65]October 13, 2013$2,564,096.62$289,407.14$(266,095.81)$2,587,407.95
Year-end[66]January 31, 2014$2,587,407$137,555$(364,694)$2,360,269
April Quarterly[67]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[68]April 17, 2013$155,566.52$209,308.71$(147,819.50)$217,055.73
July Quarterly[69]July 22, 2013$217,055.73$387,638.58$(203,816.88)$400,877.43
October Quarterly[70]October 13, 2013$400,877.43$277,466.90$(230,852.51)$447,493.82
Year-end[71]January 31, 2014$447,493$248,080$(508,396)$187,178
April Quarterly[72]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[73]October 15, 2013$806.59$1,158.90$(1,274.82)$690.67
Year End[74]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[75]July 15, 2013$0.00$154,015.08$(3,956.80)$150,058.28
October Quarterly[76]October 15, 2013$150,058.28$286,414.38$(124,495.51)$311,977.15
Year End[77]January 31, 2014$311,977$169,781$(153,836)$327,921
April Quarterly[78]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[79]October 15, 2013$0.00$3,745.00$(3,644.01)$100.99
Year End[80]January 31, 2014$100$3,318$(3,318)$100
April Quarterly[81]April 15, 2014$100$10,977$(8,141)$2,935
Running totals
$18,040$(15,103.01)
Branko Radulovacki (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[82]October 15, 2013$75.00$103,433.43$(22,617.40)$80,891.03
Year End[83]January 31, 2014$80,891$39,893$(35,911)$86,221
April Quarterly[84]April 15, 2014$86,221$30,217$(32,972)$83,466
Running totals
$173,543.43$(91,500.4)
Michelle Nunn (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[85]October 15, 2013$0.00$1,731,790.45$(275,157.05)$1,456,633.40
Year End[86]January 31, 2014$1,456,633$1,602,020$(599,078)$2,459,575
April Quarterly[87]April 15, 2014$2,459,575$2,425,943$(942,772)$3,942,746
July Quarterly[88]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)

Third quarter

Karen Handel

Karen Handel reported having raised $286,000 in the third quarter of 2013, with $310,000 cash-on-hand.[89]

Paul Broun

Paul Broun reported raising $280,000 in the third quarter, and had $450,000 cash-on-hand.[89]

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.[90] 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.[90]

“I wouldn’t expect others to invest in a cause that I was not willing to invest in myself,” Perdue said in a statement. “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."[90]

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.[91] The report marks the third quarter in a row that he has raised more than $800,000 and had no debt reported.[91]

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.[92][90]

On December 12, 2013, former Sen. Richard Lugar’s leadership political action committee, The 19th Star PAC, sent $5,000 to Nunn's campaign.[93] Nunn also received a donation from former Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia.[93] Nunn’s father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, worked closely with Lugar while in the Senate.[93]

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.[94]

Outside spending

Top contractors from the defense industry are putting their money behind Rep. Jack Kingston (R) in a member versus member battle for the nomination in the primary election.[95] Early in the election cycle, he has emerged as the top recipient of campaign contributions from top defense firms.[95] As of July 2013, he has 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.[95]

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.[96]

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.[97]

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

References

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  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 Senate Races," accessed August 5, 2014
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  4. Atlanta Journal Constitution "Your daily jolt: By federal order, Georgia's 2014 primary will be earliest in state history" Accessed July 15, 2013
  5. Will Rep. Paul Broun be Karl Rove's first 'unelectable' target?, Liz Marlantes, The Christian Science Monitor, February 6, 2013
  6. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Phil Gingrey rejects gun clip limits, changes course on Todd Akin," March 11, 2013
  7. AJC "Phil Gingrey Enters 2014 Race for U.S. Senate" Accessed March 28, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 Atlanta Journal Constitution "Jack Kingston declares for U.S. Senate -- and Karen Handel says, 'Don't forget me'" Accessed May 2, 2013
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  52. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named fear
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