Georgia 2018: What were the biggest primary surprises?


With the whirlwind of Election Day in the past, AJC political reporter Greg Bluestein and statehouse veteran James Salzer took a step back to discuss the biggest surprises of the May 22 primary election. 

“It wasn’t just one thing,” Salzer said on the Politically Georgia podcast, which Bluestein hosts. “I don’t know if they were upsets or not, but I think seven or eight legislators lost their seats including some that I didn’t see coming.” 

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Salzer pointed other notable results, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle receiving only 39 percent of the vote in the Republican primary for governor and David Shafer receiving 49 percent of the vote in the GOP primary for lieutenant governor.

“There’s a decent amount of polling for the governor’s race, but there’s very little polling, even internally, for these down ticket races,” Bluestein said. “And most of the polling did show huge gaps of undecided voters. .. A lot of it just came down to name I.D.”

The two also discussed Rep. Matt Gurtler, a candidate with opposition from Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston, also known as “Dr. No,” who survived his primary and faces no opponent in the Nov. 6 general election.

“The ‘Who’s Who’ in house leadership gave gave money to his opponent, and he ended up winning re-election,” Salzer said.

Also in this episode, Bluestein and Salzer also provide an update on the Republican runoff for governor between Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Politically Georgia releases a new episode every Monday, so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher to keep up with all things Georgia Politics.

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Previous episode: What to expect during the Republican runoff for Georgia governor 

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