The battle between Lee Anderson and John Barrow for the fate of Georgia’s 12th Congressional district is under way and it appears that the race is going to be a tight one. This is on the Operation Counterweight final list.
After a protracted primary battle, Anderson officially secured the Republican nomination early this month. Since then, Anderson has been campaigning throughout the district to try to make up for lost time.
A recently released poll suggests that its working, but Anderson’s lead is razor thin and well within the statistical margin of error.
The poll shows the Republican challenger leading the incumbent Democrat 44-43, with 13 percent still undecided.
Although the race is close, there are number of factors that offer encouraging signs.
First, the newly redrawn district leans Republican. Second, as the poll points out, the more Anderson’s name recognition increases, the bigger his lead gets.
Among the 3 in 4 voters who have heard of both candidates Lee Anderson leads 48%-41%. Among the almost half of all voters who have a firm opinion of both candidates Lee Anderson leads Congressman Barrow 53%-43%.
The late start Anderson was forced to make means that his name recognition is suffering, which the poll suggests is a big reason Anderson isn’t further ahead.
Getting a debate going between the two candidates is not going well. Anderson has repeatedly stated that he will only debate Barrow if the incumbent admits that he will be voting for President Obama, and tells the people of Georgia’s 12th Congressional district who he supports for speaker of the house.
Anderson’s position reflects the dynamics of the nationally watched race.
Barrow, who recently moved from Savannah to Augusta, wants a fifth term in the recently reshaped 12th, which now tilts toward the GOP. Republicans think this is their best chance in a decade to win the seat.
They’re trying hard to link Barrow to fellow Democrats Obama and Nancy Pelosi, former House speaker.
Many on the national stage have said that Anderson’s speaking style would handicap him in a debate exchange with Barrow.
However, as someone who has lived in Georgia for over a decade, I think that most Georgian’s, especially from the 12th district region, would say that Anderson simply sounds a lifelong time resident of south Georgia.
Barrow has accused Anderson of ducking the debate, but in an interview with with a local television station, Anderson rejects the charge:
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