Jackie Gingrich Cushman
In the Georgia Republican runoff this week, David Perdue won the right to represent Republicans in the general election this fall. His win has placed the final piece of the puzzle for the political landscape this season in Georgia. With less than four months until the fall election, not a minute can be wasted by either side.

The Senate race has become an oddity, with two CEOs (one business, one non-profit and both with politically recognizable family names) vying to become the next United States Senator from Georgia. David Perdue, (former Republican Dollar General CEO and cousin of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue), is facing off against Democrat Michelle Nunn (CEO of the Points of Light Foundation and daughter of former United States Sen. Sam Nunn).

Candidate Nunn had no real primary opponent, and has run a campaign focusing on her background, without ever mentioning that she is a Democrat. Her father, Sam, was and is much loved by Georgians, and is often referred to as a moderate. Michelle Nunn herself is running as a moderate, but will have to confront the fact that, if she is elected, she will vote for Harry Reid to serve as majority leader.

The governor's race is also in contention, and also has a famous last name on the ballot. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, is being challenged by state Sen. Jason Carter, former President Jimmy Carter's grandson.

Recent polls, taken during a competitive Republican runoff and at a time when Michelle Nunn faced no opposition, put Nunn ahead of Perdue by six points. But a prior poll had Perdue ahead by five. Considering recent polls had Rep. Jack Kingston beating Perdue (who won), the one thing we know for sure is that polls are quite often wrong (ask Rep. Eric Cantor).

A quick review of the national political landscape shows that Georgia's outcome could affect the balance of power nationwide next year. The House is Republican, and is predicted to remain that way; President Obama is not up for reelection, so the only national political body in play is the Senate. The current Senate comprises 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans. There are 36 Senate seats up for election, 15 currently held by Republicans, 21 held by Democrats. Three seats currently held by Democrats -- Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia -- are expected to change into Republican hands, according to Real Clear Politics.


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”.