Diary

The Electoral Map: Georgia and South Carolina

In South Carolina, all seven incumbent Congressmen- 6 Republicans and 1 Democrat- will coast to victory as there is not even a Democratic challenger in the 7th District.  In the Senate race, Tim Scott was appointed to serve out the term of the retiring Jim DeMint who was elected in 2010.  In 2014, Scott easily won the special election to complete the term and is now running for reelection to a full 6-year term against some guy named Thomas Dixon.  Scott is African-American and a rising star in the Republican Party and should have no problem dispatching Dixon.

On the presidential side, there was some concern here as Donald Trump showed some weakness and in two polls in early August was actually tied with Hillary Clinton.  Since then, he has averaged a 9 point advantage over Clinton suggesting that the ship has been righted in South Carolina and he should take their 9 electoral votes.  In fact, this writer is predicting that Trump will win by the historical average since 2000- about 13 points.

Likewise, there was some consternation about neighboring Georgia, and there may still be some.  But first, the House races where the GOP leads the delegation 10-4.  As many people note, there is Atlanta and then there is Georgia.  In fact, those four Democrats represent areas in or around Atlanta.  In three of the ten Republican districts, there is no Democratic opposition and no Republican opposition in one of the four Democratic districts.  Even in the open Third being vacated by Republican Lynn Westmoreland there should be no drama keeping this is GOP hands.  Hence, all incumbents will win their reelection efforts and the delegation will remain 10-4.

In the Senate race, GOP incumbent John Isaakson will face Democratic challenger Jim Barksdale.  Barksdale is a rich man with political aspirations and Democrats at first thought his candidacy a good idea because he could self-fund freeing up money to be spent elsewhere.  However, the campaign soon faced reality that Georgia is not ready for a Democratic Senator, especially one named Jim Barksdale.

Other than an early August swoon, Isaakson has led in the polls and in double digits since mid-September.  Further, the Barksdale campaign has been beset with a series of high-level defections and retirements.  They are running from a losing campaign.

On the presidential front, Trump should win the 16 electoral votes, but he has had some problems consistently holding onto leads in the polls that would suggest this will be a “taken for granted” affair.  Leading by an average considerably below the historical average, Trump has been improving of late although Georgia may be a bellweather state to gauge momentum.  Like neighboring South Carolina, this writer expects Trump to win by somewhere near that historical average in the 8-10 point range.  However, as the campaign winds down, keep an eye on the polls out of Georgia.  A serious Trump drop could foretell a Florida loss.

After these two states, the electoral vote count stands at 169 to 159 in favor of Trump.  The GOP maintains control of the Senate 52-48, and of the House 239-196.

Next up:  Indiana