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21 July 2010

John Barrow Vulnerable To Strong Primary Challenge In 2012

Tuesday, Democrats in Georgia's 12th congressional district re-nominated U.S. Representative John Barrow for a fourth term in the House of Representatives.  However, the story coming out of the July 20th primary is not Barrow's victory but the fact that his primary opponent nearly doubled her vote total from two years ago.

Despite raising only $43,709, former state Senator Regina Thomas garnered 42% of the vote according to unofficial returns [SOURCE: Georgia Election Results; July 20, 2010].  Compare that to her performance in 2008, when Thomas received a paltry 23% against Barrow, and one comes away with the picture that a well-funded primary opponent could possibly beat the three-term Savannah Democrat in two years [SOURCE:  Georgia Election Results; July 15, 2010].

Regina Thomas' 19-point jump from 2008 to 2010 can only be attributed to Democrats' disapproval of John Barrow's vote against the health care bill. 

Before Tuesday's primary, several local Democratic elected officials and Democratic Party activists expressed their dismay at Barrow's vote.  Some even vowed to recruit a strong primary challenger for Barrow in the future.

Democrat John Barrow will face the winner of the Republican primary run-off between Ray McKinney and Carl Smith.  CQ Politics rates the race as "likely Democratic".