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Updated 12:53 p.m. | Sen. Johnny Isakson announced Wednesday that he suffers from Parkinson’s disease, but will still run for re-election in 2016. Full story
After the polls close Tuesday, it’s likely at least a handful of House and Senate races will be too close to call.
What would happen next for these tight contests? In most cases, once all the votes are collected and counted, it’s a pesky procedure that keeps candidates and canvassers up at night for days or weeks: the recount.
Recount laws vary by state, so we’ve rounded up what triggers one and any notable fine print in states with anticipated close contests.
Sen. Mark Begich (D) vs. Dan Sullivan (R)
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Tilts Republican
Trigger: Only an exact tie triggers a recount in the El Dorado of the North. But if the race does not end in a tie, a losing candidate or 10 qualified voters can still request a recount.
Fine Print: In a statewide election, the recount requestor must deposit $15,000 with the recount application, unless the margin is less than 0.5 percent, at which point the state covers the cost. The deposit is refunded if the recount changes the election results.
The competitive open-seat Senate race in Georgia has become an unwanted liability for Republicans’ chances of winning a majority, but Democrat Michelle Nunn still has a perilous path to win a majority of the vote on Nov. 4.
National Republicans, who just spent $1.4 million more to support their nominee, say David Perdue is still ahead. But his comments about his “outsourcing” past have undoubtedly breathed new life into the Nunn campaign — and given national Democrats their best offensive opportunity.
Still, with a third-party candidate expected to take a chunk of votes, an unfavorable national climate and a small margin for error in this Republican-leaning state, Nunn has several hurdles standing in the way of her best chance for victory — winning a majority of the vote on Election Day. Perdue would be favored in a Jan. 6 runoff because turning out the vote then would be an even heavier lift for Democrats.
“The numbers are strong,” said state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who recently led a statewide voter registration drive aimed at young minorities. “It’s certainly all about turnout, which is a generic trope, but real. If we can turn out the voters, she can win in November. But we have to be prepared for any eventuality, and I think the campaign is prepared for that.” Full story
Speaker John A. Boehner can likely count on another vote to keep his gavel — but only if Republican Rick Allen wins his competitive race in Georgia next month.
“Speaker Boehner’s stock went up with me with this constitutional lawsuit [against President Barack Obama], I thought it was time to make a stand,” Allen said in a Sept. 9 interview with CQ Roll Call. “He made a stand, I’m proud of him for it.
The press secretary to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is heading to the South to help Republicans retain one of their two most endangered Senate seats.
Megan Whittemore told reporters in an email Monday that beginning later this week, she will be communications director for David Perdue’s campaign in Georgia.
Whittemore’s exit comes as Cantor is set to resign from Congress, effective Aug. 18. The Virginia Republican’s descent from leadership and early exit followed his stunning June 10 primary defeat — and Whittemore was one of several top Cantor staffers identified as likely attractive candidates for new jobs.
An internal poll of the Georgia Senate Republican primary runoff conducted for Rep. Jack Kingston found him with a double-digit lead over his opponent, businessman David Perdue.
Perdue got more votes than Kingston in the crowded Republican primary last month, but Kingston appears to have the momentum now that voters have to choose between just the two of them. They will face off on July 22.
According to the poll, Kingston led Perdue, 49 percent to 35 percent, with 16 percent of voters undecided. Full story
Businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston advanced Tuesday to the runoff for the Republican Senate nomination in Georgia.
Perdue and Kingston were the top vote-getters, beating out former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, and Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun.
Perdue led with 30 percent when The Associated Press called the race with 87 percent of precincts reporting. As expected, he was unable to secure the 50 percent of the vote necessary to win the nomination outright. Kingston finished second with 26 percent, edging out Handel, who had 22 percent. Full story
It’s primary night in six states, with plenty of races to watch in Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
The only night with more states holding consequential primaries? In two weeks, on June 3.
(For a full list of the primary calendar, check out CQ Roll Call’s Primary Dates chart.)
There are no fewer than five competitive primary races in Georgia. Beyond that, three Republican incumbents steeped in the establishment will, by all appearances, swat back tea party rivals after the polls close. Unless there is a sleeper primary upset, the only incumbent who is in any sort of political trouble is a Democrat, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia.
Starting at 6:30 p.m., our Politics Team will have a live blog of the results below. After polls close, @Alexis_Levinson and @KyleTrygstad will track the Senate races, while @CahnEmily and @RollCallAbby will watch the House side of politics.
Here are the races to watch, accompanied by each race’s Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call race rating:
Kentucky – Polls close at 7 p.m. EST Full story
Georgia Senate hopeful David Perdue is up with a new ad attacking his Republican primary opponent Rep. Jack Kingston.
“Jack Kingston’s been in Washington for more than 2 decades. But Georgia voters don’t want more big spending Washington experience,” the narrator says, as images of babies appear on the screen. One has a diaper bearing the name “Jack.” The ad accuses Kingston of backing “massive debt increases” and of supporting the “Cash for Clunkers” bill from the Obama administration.
The Perdue spot then shows an ad Kingston began running last week in which he portrays Perdue as a whiny toddler greedily stuffing his face with cake. That ad accuses Perdue of having “chewed up businesses” he took over and claims, “8,000 jobs were lost.” The narrator calls Kingston “desperate” and said he did “[w]hat all politicians do: he lashed out falsely at David Perdue. The truth is, David Perdue has saved and created thousands of jobs. We don’t need more Washington. We need a conservative outsider.”
The spot closes with Perdue approving the message and graphic declaring he is “The Outsider.”
This new ad was provided to Roll Call by a Georgia source who saw it running on the ABC affiliate in Atlanta as of Friday afternoon. The Perdue campaign, which has not sent the spot to the press or posted it on YouTube, did not immediately respond to requests about to the size of the buy.
The children of Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., highlight their father’s frugality in the Senate candidate’s newest television spot.
“Our dad is Jack Kingston,” says his daughter Betsy in the ad, sitting on a couch with her three siblings — John, Ann and Jim — facing the camera. “He really is cheap, and it’s not just the car he drives.”
“We thought ‘Hand-Me-Down’ was the name of a department store,” says Jim, then he and John display holes in the elbows of their shirts.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjVi4HJHsIk Full story
EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, announced on Monday that it endorsed nonprofit leader Michelle Nunn for Senate from Georgia.
Nunn is seeking retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat. She is the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga.