Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Georgia Runoff Results: David Perdue Wins GOP Nod for Senate (Video)

Perdue won the Georgia Republican Senate nomination Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman David Perdue’s outsider narrative and personal wealth propelled him to the Republican nomination Tuesday in the Georgia Senate race, defeating Rep. Jack Kingston.

Perdue led the 11-term congressman, 51 percent to 49 percent, with 93 percent of precincts reporting when The Associated Press called the race.

After an extra nine weeks were tacked on to the initial May 20 primary, the race is finally progressing to the general election — where Democrat Michelle Nunn has quietly been compiling cash for what will be a pricey contest.

The race for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss marks one of Democrats’ only pickup opportunities — and a race Republicans can’t afford to lose if they hope to win the Senate majority. The GOP needs to net six seats to gain control of the chamber.

Perdue, who has already invested more than $3 million into his campaign, is the early favorite in this GOP-leaning state, which President Barack Obama declined to compete for in 2012 and lost by 7 points. But Perdue can expect similar attacks on his past business dealings that he faced in the runoff.

The former Dollar General and Reebok CEO plastered “The Outsider” to his campaign bus and pushed the theme that electing an insider such as Kingston would do nothing to improve the way business is conducted on Capitol Hill. After a memorable series of ads during the primary depicting his opponents as crying babies, Perdue summed up his argument in a direct-to-camera closing TV ad: “If you like what’s happening in Washington, vote for Jack Kingston.”

Kingston’s messaging against Perdue was no softer. His final ad accused Perdue of supporting Common Core, “amnesty” and the Wall Street bailout, and it featured a mannequin dressed up like Perdue. “Claiming you’re a conservative doesn’t make you one,” the narrator said. “David Perdue is just not the real thing.”

National Democrats, who released a memo Tuesday morning slamming both Republicans, are hoping the acrimonious runoff pushed the eventual nominee “further right and exposed vulnerabilities that will lead to their defeat in the fall,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky wrote.

Beyond that, Nunn, in concert with her party’s gubernatorial nominee, Jason Carter, must sign up a big chunk of the estimated 800,000 unregistered black, Hispanic and Asian voters. Nunn’s path also includes picking off moderate Republicans drawn to her pedigree as the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., her record as CEO of the Points of Light Foundation and her message of business-friendly bipartisanship.

Nunn has stood strong in early public polling, but she has so far been largely ignored by outside groups that either sat out the primary or were focused on getting their preferred candidate through. But that honeymoon ended Sunday, when Ending Spending Action Fund slammed Nunn in essentially the first TV ad of the general election.

There is more to come. Citizens for a Working America PAC spent more than $2 million on Perdue’s behalf during the primary and runoff.

This is a race to watch. But for now, it’s rated Favored Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Related Stories:

Super PAC Targets Democrat in Georgia

Fight for the Senate Still Very Much Up in the Air

Relieved Senate Republicans Look Forward to November

Rating Change: Georgia Governor

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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  • Mr. Right

    Georgia made the smart decision by rejecting Obama twice. They will make another correct decision by rejecting Nunn who will be a rubber stamp Obama supporter.
    Vote David Perdue!

  • Gregory Williams

    Purdue is another oligarch who is unsuitable for public office – CEO approved 1%ers never seek office for the public s good and that is more true of Purdue than normal… he has to contend with the fact now that he is the one who intends to strip Georgians of their healthcare and their rights of self determination – he is now the face of the conservatives DEATH TO AMERICANS PANEL and now that we know that without Obamacare the insurance premiums in this state will rise more than 90% people will be motivated to elect democrats just to have affordable healthcare and a restoration of needed public services.

  • JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    There are many other Senate seats that Dems may lose without worrying about this one. Nunn is a name in Georgia and if it still has clout, she’ll win. Probably NO difference between either of them anyway.

  • JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    False information due to your agenda, whatever that is ? Gay,trannie or total zombie for communism ?

  • Nobama

    Johnny, Lenin called these guys useful idiots.

  • View From The Left

    Historically false.
    There is NO EVIDENCE that Lenin called anyone “useful idiots”. but seeing that you never studied Lenin, Communism or even basic history, I’m not surprised that you didn’t know that.

  • View From The Left

    Aw, hello there hateful and ignorant little bigot.
    How are you today?

  • Brad Robinson

    Perhaps Lenin was never quoted as saying those words, the phrase and certainly the concept are spot on in this case…

  • John Kenner

    While finding the most suitable way to apply our skills and abilities is perhaps the toughest task in a free country, it is a responsibility inseparable from liberty.

  • Hima Layan

    Our creativity, our moral standards, and our use of learned customs and traditions are three of the key differences between mankind and the animals.

  • williambose32

    Those who profess no limits to the actions which can be taken in the majority’s name are actively undermining morality, liberty, prosperity, and democratic processes.

  • williambose32

    Since liberty was not consciously designed, but rather discovered and unleashed with Western civilization, its benefits were mostly unknown until they were recognized and studied.

  • CaptainCommonsense

    Actually, they’re raising it up spammer.

  • CaptainCommonsense

    When in reality, it was consciously designed spammer.

  • CaptainCommonsense

    You have the wrong three key differences, spammer.

  • CaptainCommonsense

    Actually, spammer, we separated it.

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