Political Insider

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Johnny Isakson and Nathan Deal team up in final stretch before election

Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson and Gov. Nathan Deal are joining forces this weekend as both face very different kinds of election tests.

Isakson embarks on his final flurry of campaigning ahead of the election, trying to avoid the first runoff in his U.S. Senate career. The two-term Republican has a commanding lead over Democrat Jim Barksdale and Libertarian Allen Buckley in every public poll, but many show him hovering around the 50-percent-plus-one mark he needs to stave off a January overtime round.

The governor is making a final push for his Opportunity School District, which would empower the state to take control of persistently struggling schools. Polls show it headed for defeat and, though supporters have friendly ballot language on their side, even some of Deal's allies are not optimistic about its chances.

The six city fly-around tour over four days begins with a tailgate in Augusta on Friday evening, a stop in Savannah on Sunday and a blitz through airports in Columbus, Macon and Albany on Monday, culminating in a rally in Isakson’s home base of Marietta.

In addition to Deal, other Republican pals will be joining Isakson at his various stops, including a handful of his House colleagues and longtime confidante Saxby Chambliss.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.