GA-Sen: Johnny Isakson (R) Will Formally Announce Re-Election Bid Next Week

GA-Sen: Johnny Isakson (R) Will Formally Announce Re-Election Bid Next Week

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks to the media during an election night party for Georgia Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Game on then:

Georgia’s soon-to-be senior senator is formally announcing he will seek a third term at 11 a.m. on Monday at the state capitol. Expect Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston to attend in a show of GOP unity behind his bid.

Isakson has been eager to put to rest rumors that he wouldn’t run for another term – and scare off any potential GOP rivals. Among them is former Florida Rep. Allen West, though he has dismissed such talk, and a gaggle of ambitious up-and-coming Republicans.

Several rising Democratic contenders are also closely watching the race, though it’s unclear whether a marquee candidate would risk challenging Isakson. He handily defeated Rep. Denise Majette in 2004 after surviving a tough GOP primary, and trounced Democrat Michael Thurmond six years later.

Isakson, who will turn 70 in December, told us earlier that he’s hired key campaign staff and is prepared for the long road ahead. - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/11/14

FYI, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D. GA) has stated that he won't run against Isakson. Michelle Nunn (D. GA) may give it another shot or outgoing Rep. John Barrow (D. GA) might be a formidable candidate. While Democrats came up short in Georgia this year, it's clear the Georgia GOP is on borrowed time:

The electoral results in Georgia are similar to many of the trends observed at the national level.  Both incumbent GOP Governor Nathan Deal and Senate candidate David Perdue managed to win more than 50 percent of the statewide vote and avoid an eventual runoff between the top two finishers.  Deal finished with 52.8 percent of the vote compared with Democrat Jason Carter’s 44.8 percent, whereas Perdue did slightly better with 52.9 percent of the vote compared to the 45.2 percent of the vote won by Democratic challenger Michelle Nunn.  These figures for the winning Republican candidates are somewhat higher than many of the pre-election polls suggested, but can most likely be explained by the increased turnout in the state.  According to statewide data, turnout reflected 49.9 percent of registered voters in Georgia, which is quite high for a midterm and most likely a function of both the gubernatorial and Senate race appearing on the statewide ballot.

This number is particularly impressive given the national turnout rate was considerably below 40 percent, as is typical in midterm elections.  However, the higher turnout rate in Georgia did not help Michelle Nunn’s chances in the end.  Though she received over 90 percent of votes from African-Americans, less than 30 percent of African-Americans ultimately participated in this election.  Even more problematic for the Democratic candidate was the fact that only about one quarter of white voters cast their ballot in her favor.  Therefore, it is not surprising that David Perdue managed to win in such a convincing fashion despite the pre-election polls that suggested a very close race.

Early in the evening, it looked like Deal and Perdue were going to run away with the election.  Nevertheless, neither race was called until much later in the evening.  After all the ballots were tallied statewide, Perdue ended up carrying 126 of the 159 counties in Georgia, whereas Nunn managed to carry 32 of the counties (with one county—Baker—ending in a tie between the two Senate candidates).  Despite this disparity, Nunn still managed to win over 45 percent of the vote since she did quite well in urban areas especially around Atlanta.  Although the electoral outcome will most likely be disappointing for the Carter and Nunn campaigns, they can both take solace in the fact that both exceeded the 40 percent threshold of many previous Democratic statewide candidates.

This result appears to confirm the conventional view that demographics in Georgia are changing, which could open the door to the possibility of Democratic statewide victories in the foreseeable future.  In 2008, Jim Martin, the Democratic candidate for the Senate, rode the Democratic wave to nearly 47 percent of the vote forcing a runoff against incumbent Saxby Chambliss where he would eventually lose.  However, Nunn managed to garner a similar level of support during a Republican wave, which could easily be seen as the silver lining to a dark election night for Democrats across the nation.  If they continue to field viable candidates in future statewide races, it may only take a few more election cycles before Republicans lose their hold on those seats in Georgia. - The London School of Economics and Political Science, 11/10/14

Stay tuned.