Georgia Primary Election: Can Trump-Endorsed Candidates Defy The Odds?

Written By Evan Scrimshaw on May 12, 2022
georgia primary odds

With the Georgia primary election fast approaching on Tuesday, May 24, there’s not much intrigue at the Senate level, and the Democratic primary for Governor is a snoozefest, but there are still three intriguing contests on the ballot this year – the GOP primary for Governor, the GOP primary for Secretary of State, and the Democratic primary in the 7th District, featuring two incumbents going head to head.

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Georgia Primary Election: Republican Candidate For Governor

CandidatePredictIt PriceImplied Odds
Brian Kemp$0.90-900
David Perdue$0.09+1011

This is the most high-profile race of the three we’ll discuss, where Donald Trump’s continued obsession with size sees him trying to destroy the career of Republican incumbent Brian Kemp, for the sin of not pretending Trump’s vote totals were bigger than Joe Biden’s.

Kemp ran in the open 2018 primary as the fire-breathing conservative who owned a pickup truck to round up “criminal illegals” and is now somehow the sensible moderate in the race. He’s running against the guy who cost the GOP the Senate in 2021 because he couldn’t beat a documentary filmmaker-turned-failed political candidate Jon Ossoff.

Kemp, whose term in office has been as conservative as he promised it would be before the 2018 election, is now being attacked for being insufficiently conservative, despite signing a series of election laws designed to hurt Democratic chances of repeating their 2020 and 2021 successes.

Perdue, for what it’s worth, isn’t actually that different than Kemp in terms of actual policy preferences or how they’d govern. Perdue is just mad that he lost to a candidate he views as beneath him. So he sucked up to Donald Trump to get Trump’s endorsement for a run for governor.

Perdue has made no compelling case against Kemp except “Trump won in 2020”, which is both blatantly untrue and also irrelevant. Even if Donald Trump was somehow, in a very illegal process, given Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, he still was nowhere close to the required electoral votes needed to win the Presidency.

Perdue has no vision for what his actual, day-to-day job of governing the state will be if and when he wins the primary, and then a general election. And, despite nobody noticing, David Perdue doesn’t have the electability argument, because Kemp beat Stacey Abrams in a blue wave in 2018 and Perdue lost to a guy whose name was a meme for overhyped and bad candidates.

Perdue’s gonna be lucky to get within 20% of Kemp on May 24, and Kemp is going to annihilate him.

Georgia Primary Election: Republican Candidate For Secretary Of State

CandidatePredictIt PriceImplied Odds
Jody Hice$0.51-105
Brad Raffensperger$0.48+110

This one is a little harder to explain, but there’s immense value here.

Raffensperger won on the same ticket as Brian Kemp just under four years ago, and Raffensperger is another of those very conservative officeholders who are now insufficiently conservative because of Trump’s election lie.

He is the official who Donald Trump was berating on the phone to “find” enough votes to make Trump the Georgia winner, as if the Secretary of State can just make up vote totals and everyone will go along with it.

Raffensperger got branded right away a moderate, because he apparently “isn’t willing to go to jail for a man who will be out of office in a matter of weeks.” He is now the test for moderate status in America, but he really, genuinely, isn’t a moderate.

We are talking about a man that has been fine with voter suppression legislation, including a cruel provision that bans people from handing out food and water to people in line waiting to vote. Yes, the party that promotes a small government philosophy in Georgia has mandated private citizens can’t feed the hungry in line at the polls on Election Day.

He’s also being primaried for the sin of not being willing to commit egregious election crimes. His opponent is a sitting Republican Congressman who has the Trump endorsement and is trying to run to make sure that Democrats can’t win another election in Georgia again.

Hice has been long favored in the odds because everyone assumes that anyone with a Trump endorsement will win every GOP primary. However, if David Perdue’s message is tanking so badly, why do we think Hice will win on the same day on the same ballot as Kemp?

Yes, this race is likely heading for a run-off, but even still, Raffensperger is up 11% in the most recent poll of the race, and there’s little reason to think that Trumpian, lower propensity voters will turn out more in a run-off than on general election day.

Hice will do worse on run-off day than he does on Primary Day. Raffensperger, whose coalition will be more suburban and exurban degree holders who vote in every election, will do better, and he will easily win this race. The fact he’s an underdog is insanity.

Georgia Primary Election: Democratic Race In District 7

CandidatePredictIt PriceImplied Odds
Lucy McBath$0.81-425
Carolyn Bourdeaux$0.15+556

Congresswoman Lucy McBath was one of the surprise winners in 2018, when Democrats flipped the old Georgia 6th with her after having lost it at the famous 2017 special election where we all decided that Jon Ossoff was never going to amount to anything.

Her victory, and the very close call of Carolyn Bourdeaux in the neighboring Georgia 7th, were auspicious signs for Democrats in winning the state in 2020, but because Stacey Abrams lost the state in 2018, the GOP had full control of redistricting and could redraw the maps, which they radically did last year.

McBath’s old 6th got transformed into a much more exburban seat, trading a lot of (Democratic) Cobb County for (Republican) Forsyth County, and turning her seat red. In turn, Bourdeaux’s Georgia 7th got turned into a Gwinnett vote sink for Democrats, where the only contest that matters is the Democratic Primary, and both McBath and Bourdeaux are running.

The reason McBath is seen as a likely winner of this primary is simple – she’s black, and it’s a fairly prominent African-American area of Atlanta. With both immigration to the Atlanta suburbs from out of state and black Atlantans moving to the suburbs, Gwinnett is now only 32% white, with about a quarter of the population African-American, 23% Hispanic and 13% Asian.

Bordeaux, a centrist white Democrat, is not a heavy favorite in a primary where McBath can probably rely on most of that black support, and the black share of a Democratic primary electorate being closer to 45% or even 50%. So long as McBath doesn’t get annihilated with white and Hispanic communities, which I feel she won’t given her ability to attract the votes of suburban whites that didn’t vote for Jon Ossoff in 2017, she will cruise to an easy win in this primary.

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