Jackie Gingrich Cushman

The states included in the tossup category are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan and North Carolina (all but one currently Democratic, and all but one with incumbents running).

Leans Democratic states are Iowa (open) and North Carolina are currently Democratic.

Leans GOP states are Georgia (Republican -- open seat) and Montana (Democratic -- incumbent).

So what does this mean? That the stakes in the Georgia open Senate seat have national importance. Out of the 11 states in play, only two (Georgia and Kentucky) are currently Republican seats.

Winning Georgia would not only provide another Democratic seat but would also provide bragging rights to turning a red state into a purple (or potentially blue state if Jason Carter wins the Governor's race). The backdrop would be an almost certain Republican House and a very possible Republican Senate majority. A win in Georgia would provide the National Democratic Party with the ability to save face after a potential disastrous midterm election.

Michelle Nunn, the Democratic frontrunner, has the advantage of watching her numerous potential Republican opponents attack each other during primary season. The primary will be held on May 20th, with the most likely result a runoff between the top two candidates (a candidate must receive over 50 percent of the vote to win outright, which is highly unlikely with seven declared candidates). The runoff will be held July 22, 2014. The top Republican candidates based on RCP recent averages are David Purdue and Congressman Jack Kingston.

Have no doubt -- the backdrop of the national stage means that that there will be a lot of outside money rolling into Georgia to influence the elections. My advice: turn off the TV, change to Sirius XM and don't answer a telephone call from an unknown number.


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.