David Perdue Defeats Michelle Nunn, Avoids Run-Off, In Georgia

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

Republican David Perdue defeated Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia’s Senate race Tuesday, winning enough votes to avoid a run-off after the holidays.

President Obama himself had appealed to black voters in Georgia, asking them to elect Nunn in order to prevent Republicans from winning control of the Senate.

Had neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote, a run off would have been held Jan. 6.

The race between Perdue, a businessman who was CEO of Dollar General, and Nunn, the CEO of the Points of Light nonprofit, has been heated in recent weeks.

Georgia is a conservative state with a growing African-American population. In order to drive blacks to the polls, Democrats have relied on racially-tinged tactics that have drawn outcry from conservatives. (RELATED: David Perdue Slams Michelle Nunn Over Democratic Party’s Racially-Tinged Fliers)

“If you want to prevent another Ferguson in their future,” reads one inflammatory mailer sent to black residents in the state. “Vote.”

The flier references the events in Ferguson this summer where a white cop shot and killed a black man.

Showing a photo of two children holding “Don’t Shoot” signs, the flier says: “It’s up to you to make change happen.”

Another flier sent to black voters read: “It’s up to us to vote to protect President Obama and his legacy as the first African-American president. … His name isn’t on the ballot. But his presidency is on the line.”

Both fliers were paid for by the state Democratic Party.

At times, Nunn, the daughter of former Democratic senator Sam Nunn, has tried to position herself to the right of the liberals in her party. Earlier this year, she became the first high-profile Democrat to come out against special Obamacare subsidies for lawmakers in Congress — a rare position for someone in her party. (RELATED: Michelle Nunn Won’t Say If She Would Have Voted For Obamacare)

In an ad, Nunn said: “No one in Congress should get a subsidy to pay for their own health care.”

Throughout the campaign, Perdue has sought to tie Nunn to the unpopular President Barack Obama. “President Obama wants Michelle Nunn in the Senate to fight for him,” Perdue said last week at a rally in Macon. “I want to go to the Senate to fight for you.”

Mimicking how Democrats went after Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential election, Nunn’s campaign spent a considerable amount of time in the campaign vilifying his business career as coldblooded and bad for the working class. (RELATED: Michelle Nunn To Campaign With Bill Clinton)

The campaign drew attention to Perdue’s past comments that he “spent most of my career” outsourcing.

The unemployment rate in Georgia is 8.1 percent, higher than the 5.9 percent across the rest of the country, an issue that has been at the forefront of the race. (RELATED: New Footage Shows Perdue Signed Insulin Pump, Not Woman’s Bare Torso)

Follow Alex on Twitter