It is the Deep South, it is 2010, and it is Republican primary time in Georgia. Without much surprise, the one-term Republican incumbent, Johnny Isakson, is running unopposed in the July 20th primary for United States Senate. Two Democrats, R.J. Hadley and Michael Thurmond, will vie for the opportunity to upset Isakson’s return to the Senate in November.
If you held the election today, Isakson could run on one platform plank — health care — and be elected with no trouble.
What Georgia Voters Think in 2010 and Why This Helps Isakson in His Senate Campaign
This is conservative Georgia, where according to the Rasmussen poll, 60% of voters favor repeal of the recently enacted health care plan. You also can find a significant percentage who would repeal Obama and anything Obama if they could. Tea Parties have been strong in this state and very vocal in the coastal Georgia region, where I live.
In recent polls, 56% of Georgia voters say that they find their own political views to be more closely aligned with the Tea Party proponents. Only 38% find themselves more closely aligned with those of President Obama. Not surprisingly, Sen. Johnny Isakson is opposed to the health care bill as it was passed and signed in to law in March 2010.
While the Georgia Republican primary on July 20 may be a foregone conclusion for Isakson, the question is what are the early projections for the November election and what, if anything, can affect them between now and then?
Another point of interest is how many voters will the Republican primary bring out to vote? Will voters be as active at the polls for Isakson as they have been in expressing their displeasure with President Obama and the Democrats in general?
Recent Rasmussen Polls show Isakson with a 51% to 31% lead over any Democratic candidate and a 51% to 35% percent lead over State Labor Commissioner, Michael Thurmond, who as of this date appears to be the strongest candidate for the Democratic Primary win. There is very little chance that Republicans will lose this Senate election in November.
As a formerly staunch Republican and small business owner who has become increasingly moderate in my beliefs, I would like to see a race in November that hinges on more than one issue. I am continually mystified at the opposition to health care when talking to small business owners in Georgia, most who admit they are listening to others and not taking the time to educate themselves on the issues on both sides of the health care argument.
On the other hand, I’m not totally comfortable with the means that were used to push this particular health care bill through Congress and I’m not sure it was the right bill at this economic time.
Does an Unopposed 2010 Georgia Republican Primary Make Isakson a Sure Thing for Reelection?
So what makes the 2010 Georgia Republican Primary with an unopposed candidate the least bit interesting to me or any other Georgian? The fact that many things besides health care can and will affect Georgia voters between now and the election in November.
For example, in an unexpected turn, off-shore drilling has come to the forefront of the country’s attention in recent weeks. The ability to get this problem under control and how Democrats and Republicans react is big news here in coastal Georgia and everyone is watching closely. The fishing and shrimping industry is important in coastal Georgia as it is coastal Louisiana. Both Democrats and Republicans have much at stake in this crisis.
A stronger than average hurricane season is also predicted this year. What effects will a hurricane have on the oil spilling into the Gulf and how will the government react to hurricane damage if it revisits the fragile Louisiana and Gulf Coast area? These problems and answers to these problems are important to coastal Georgia as well.
Isakson’s focus for the 2010 Georgia Republican Primary must be on putting his best foot forward and addressing issues that concern all Georgians. While winning the Republican Primary may not be an issue for Isakson, assuring his Georgia constituents that he continues to be the right person for the job will be crucial for November.
Election 2010: Georgia Senate, Rasmussen Reports
Senator Johnny Isakson Web Page