Election expert says runoff possible in Governor's race - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Election expert says runoff possible in Governor's race

October 25, 2006

Albany -- Despite Governor Sonny Perdue's big lead, could the Governor's race be headed for a run off? One of the state's most respected political scholars says it is possible.

He predicts the Governor's race will tighten dramatically as election day approaches.  The latest polls for Georgia's Governor show Incumbent Republican Sonny Perdue with a nearly twenty percent lead over Democratic challenger Mark Taylor.

 But University of Georgia political expert Dr. Charles Bullock, one of the most respected analysts in the state, says he thinks the race will end up much closer than that. Do you really think we could have a runoff? Dr. Charles Bullock said "I think it is possible."

The latest poll has Perdue with 51 percent, Taylor with 32 percent, Libertarian Garrett Hayes with 9 percent, and 8 percent undecided. Georgia law requires a candidate to get 50 percent of the vote to win outright, or force a runoff. Bullock says Governor Perdue's challenge is to get that 50 percent. Dr. Charles Bullock said "I think it's going to tighten up. I don't think we are going to see this twenty percent split right now, the twenty percent advantage which the Governor has been showing in recent polls. I think that is going to narrow."

 Bullock told an audience at Darton College he predicts the Big Guy will mount a late rally, simply because he is a Democrat. Bullock said "As a Democrat in Georgia, you are going to get forty percent just by having your name on the ballot. Taylor is a well known entity, he has been in politics for 20 years, he's been Lt. Governor for 8 years."

 Bullock said in these last weeks Taylor has gone to a traditional Democratic TV strategy, Taylor is never seen, while his ads attack his opponent. Bullock said "the ads that Taylor has been running attacking the Governor in terms of his land deal and terms of his tax cut, you don't see Mark Taylor at all in those."

In his ads, Perdue is reaching out to women voters in the final weeks, using his wife. Bullock said "I think that is why we are seeing Mary Perdue in some of the ads. This is seen as a way to reach out to them."

Bullock said if there is a run off in the Governor's Race, he predicts Republicans would rally their voters to come out to the polls a second time, for an easy win.

 Bullock predicted that most of the incumbents running for statewide office would be re-elected, while Republicans will increase their dominance in the State Senate and House.

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