Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Their tossup category (could go either Republican or Democrat) includes eight seats, only two of which are current Republican seats (Kentucky and Georgia). The tossup seats currently in Democratic hands are: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina. Assuming the other states vote as predicted, whichever party gets the majority of the tossup seats will get the majority in the United States Senate.

But, as we know, all politics are local.

Atlanta's Mayor, Kasim Reed, a Democrat, is known for his great working relationship with Gov. Deal. Reed's help would be welcomed by both Nunn and Carter. In talking to Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Bill Nigut recently, Reed offered advice to both Democratic candidates. "What needs to happen is you have to communicate with all your constituencies at the exact same time through Election Day," rather than waiting until later in the cycle to reach out to minority voters.

Reed understands that the get-out-the-vote effort is paramount, "and if they (Nunn and Carter) haven't invested, I would say somewhere between $3 to $5 million in their registration efforts and in their voter-contact efforts, I don't believe they are going to prevail. ... At the end of the day, no matter what the polls say, the election is going to be determined by the registration effort in the state of Georgia," he said.

Reed is right. In the end, it will all boil down to turnout -- who turns out to vote. While the Republican candidates are being fair when they tie the Democratic nominee to the Obama administration, they must do more than hope that Democrats can't persuade voters to go to the polls. The Republican candidates need to create and communicate a clear, compelling message for all voters -- that will give them a reason and the passion to turn out and vote Republican this fall.


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”.