Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Georgia Gov. Kemp ‘Likely’ Winner

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Georgia Gov. Kemp 'Likely' Winner (Newsmax/"National Report")

By Theodore Bunker | Tuesday, 01 November 2022 02:13 PM EDT

Sabato's Crystal Ball, which analyzes and handicaps elections, has moved Georgia's gubernatorial race to "likely Republican" from "lean Republican" as the midterm elections approach.

"Our thinking remains that the Senate race probably goes to a runoff, but we think it's reasonable to make Kemp a clearer favorite in the gubernatorial contest," Sabato's Crystal Ball associate editor J. Miles Coleman wrote in an update. "Georgia is going to Likely Republican."

Coleman noted Kemp might have "been the governor who has most overperformed our early election cycle expectations," since Georgia had previously voted for President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump and voted out former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.

However, the governor easily defeated a primary challenger, Trump-supporting former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., and the organization "upgraded Kemp to Leans Republican immediately following his primary win."

Sabato's Crystal Ball also noted Kemp's Democrat opponent, former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, has not "been able to replicate the energy that underpinned her 2018 effort," and "Kemp now has incumbency, and the national environment is simply redder now than it was 4 years ago."

Coleman later noted, while the Senate race will "probably" be settled by a runoff election, "we think it's reasonable to make Kemp a clearer favorite in the gubernatorial contest."

He continues, "Georgia is going to Likely Republican. Even if the gubernatorial contest went to a runoff (the presence of a Libertarian on the ballot makes the scenario a possibility), we would probably still favor the incumbent, although the dynamics of a runoff would naturally be different."

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