David Perdue speaks during a forum in Atlanta, Jan. 27, 2014.
John Bazemore/AP

Georgia’s Perdue fears voters ‘really don’t understand’

In the latter half of September, eight polls were released publicly on Georgia’s U.S. Senate race, and each one showed Republican David Perdue in the lead. Over the last week, however, three statewide polls have come out in Georgia, and Perdue suddenly isn’t leading in any of them.
 
Roll Call reported yesterday that the National Republican Senatorial Committee confirmed the party is “looking at a tougher race in Georgia,” where the contest between Perdue and Michelle Nunn (D) “has tightened up.”
 
It’s not lost on officials in either party that Republicans may come up short in their bid to control the U.S. Senate because of Georgia, Kansas, and South Dakota, even if voters in Colorado and Iowa go with surprisingly right-wing candidates.
 
There are competing explanations for developments in Georgia, but the most obvious is Perdue’s outsourcing problem – the conservative Republican has boasted, more than once, about his controversial private-sector background, which includes significant job losses through outsourcing, on top of factory closings, consolidations, and reduced work hours at U.S. facilities.
 
Last week, pressed on his outsourcing record, Perdue told reporters, “Defend it? I’m proud of it.”
 
A couple of days ago, facing a new round of questions, the GOP Senate hopeful got a little defensive. Laura Clawson flagged this Perdue quote, which was all he would say on the subject.
“You know, the criticism I’ve gotten over the last few weeks is coming from people who really have no business background and really don’t understand, um, you know, what it takes to create jobs and create economic value, which is really what this free enterprise system is based on.”
Hmm. According to Perdue, if the people of Georgia, living in the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country, are bothered by outsourcing, it’s because they’re ignorant?
 
The video of his comments help drive home the political significance.
 
The clip from the local NBC affiliate is below, but this recent assessment from Ed Kilgore continues to ring true: “I dunno, Dave. The stretch run of a U.S. Senate campaign is a pretty bad time to be conducting a public education program in right-wing economics, or telling people they are ‘confused’ for disliking outsourcing.”
 

David Perdue and Georgia

Georgia's Perdue fears voters 'really don't understand'