Georgia Senate Heats Up as Perdue, Nunn Get Their Hands Dirty

For some supporters, Nunn’s negativity came as a bit of a shock, especially given her promise to “change the tone” of Washington. Other Nunn supporters see this strategy shift as a response to Perdue’s win in the GOP primary over House Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.).

“I think we expected to run against Kingston,” admitted one Georgia Democratic Party volunteer. “That would have been the easier campaign.”

Perdue certainly ran a strong campaign against Kingston in the primary, portraying himself as the political “outsider” taking on Kingston, the careerist politician — a tactic Nunn might have tried herself. However, Nunn’s shift in strategy toward negativity is met by a wavering Democratic base.

“Negative ads just annoy me—even ones from candidates that I support,” remarked Georgia high school teacher Rachelle Udell. “I would rather the candidates and their supporters produce ads and websites that tell me exactly what the candidate has done for the people or the community.… Don't spend too much time telling me what the other guy hasn’t done. I know what the other guy hasn't done. I want to know what you have done and plan to do!”

The name of change

Nunn’s campaign office has refused to comment on the matter, much like the silence heard after her leaked campaign strategy and evidence that the Points of Light Foundation, where Nunn served as CEO since 2007, made grants to Islamic Relief USA, an organization that has been loosely tied to Hamas.

While the campaign remains tight-lipped with press, Nunn’s supporters have been rather chatty. Nunn’s video for the Democratic state convention highlights a variety of endorsements from Georgia constituents, public officials, and community leaders alike. More recently, former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller (D), who famously backed George W. Bush in 2004, endorsed Nunn. And obviously she has received a great deal of support from her father, the much-beloved moderate, former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.).

Yet Perdue is not without his own set of impressive endorsements and a family link to Georgia politics. Though it is rarely—if ever—mentioned in his campaign messages, David is the cousin of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R). Instead, the Perdue campaign has focused on the issues and on bringing a political “outsider” mentality to D.C.

In this, Perdue and Nunn seem to agree: The tone in Washington needs to change. However, this seems to be where their agreement ends.

Nunn would move to create a more moderate tone of cooperation and bipartisanship, while Perdue would have a shift toward conservative values and fiscal responsibility. These views are evidenced in the tone of their campaigns and the language emerging on their social media sites.

Although much of what the campaigns post on social media has been against Washington itself, we are still seeing the traditional campaign attacks. Both Perdue and Nunn claim to be someone fresh and different, yet it seems each has resorted to the very campaign politics they speak out against.