With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting in Georgia, the Republican Senate primary has finally been called. David Perdue will finish first and Rep. Jack Kingston will finish second. Perdue is at 30.3 percent; Kingston at 26.2 percent. Accordingly, there will be a runoff in July.
Because the three candidates who came in next are quite conservative, and because collectively they captured more than 40 percent of the vote, the key to the runoff appears to be which candidate — Perdue or Kingston — will appeal most to conservative voters.
Kingston is an “establishment” candidate — the Chamber of Commerce backs him and you can’t get much “establishment” than that. But he also has a very strong conservative voting record in Congress. As of 2012, his lifetime ACU rating was 96 percent.
Perdue is a wealthy businessman — the former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok — and the cousin of Georgia’s former governor Sonny Perdue. Apparently, he has never held elective office. The extent of his conservatism has been questioned.
Accordingly, Kingston may have the edge among supporters of the three conservative candidates who did not make the runoff. However, Perdue has extremely deep pockets. Who is the better campaigner? I have no idea; maybe some of our readers do.
Those of us who are focused, if not obsessed, with seeing the Republicans recapture the Senate this year will hope the Perdue-Kingston battle doesn’t become too bloody. But we won’t be surprised if it does.