Georgia Republican Senate candidate, David Perdue, left, takes the podium to speak to supporters at a primary election night party, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Atlanta.
David Goldman/AP

The stage is set in Georgia

Updated
Going into yesterday’s Senate primary runoff in Georgia, polls suggested Rep. Jack Kingston (R) was fairly well positioned to win his party’s nomination. As Benjy Sarlin reports, that’s not quite how the race turned out.
Businessman David Perdue will be the Republican nominee for Senate in Georgia after narrowly defeating Congressman Jack Kingston in a runoff on Tuesday.
 
With 100% of precincts reporting, Perdue held a lead of less than 2% of the vote.
Perdue, already labeled “Mitt Romney Lite,” will face Michelle Nunn in the fall in the race to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R). And though Georgia may be a “red” state, and 2014 is supposed to be a great year for Republicans, Democrats believe they have a realistic shot at picking up this Senate seat – optimism bolstered by polls showing a very competitive race.
 
The basic contours of the general election have already taken shape: Perdue will present himself as a political outsider with a fresh perspective; Democrats will point to Perdue as a gaffe-prone Romney clone with a history of laying off American workers through outsourcing.
 
Just as important, though, were the congressional primary runoffs. With U.S. Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), and Kingston leaving Capitol Hill after failed Senate bids, Georgia’s delegation is due for an upgrade, right?
 
Well, that’s a matter of perspective.
 
In Georgia’s 11th district, former Rep. Bob Barr’s comeback bid came up short, losing to state Sen. Barry Loudermilk. In Georgia’s 1st district, Club For Growth-backed surgeon Bob Johnson came up short against state Sen. Buddy Carter*.
 
And then there’s the 10th district, where pastor Jody Hice is set to replace Paul Broun. Who’s Jody Hice? I’m glad you asked.
In a 2012 book, that candidate – pastor and talk radio host Jody Hice – alleges the gay community has a secret plot to recruit and sodomize children, In It’s Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America, Hice also asserts that supporters of abortion rights are worse than Hitler and compares gay relationships to bestiality and incest. He proposes that Muslims be stripped of their First Amendment rights. […]
 
Hice claims homosexuality causes shorter life spans and depression, and he insists same-sex couples cannot raise healthy children…. Hice also offers an extreme interpretation of the Constitution, claiming states can nullify federal laws and take up arms against the federal government if they consider a federal law unjust…. In Hice’s view, the United States took a turn for the worse after the Civil War…. Hice argues that Muslim immigrants constitute an existential challenge to the United States…. Hice also compares reproductive rights advocates to Nazis.
As if that weren’t quite enough, just last week, Hice suggested armed Americans should “step up” to defend the nation against unaccompanied migrant children.
 
Given the makeup of the district, Hice’s general election victory is all but assured. He’ll be in Congress next year.
 
For more on developments in the Peach State, The American Prospect ran a great on-the-ground report from Bob Moser this week.
 
* Correction: I’d originally written that Carter lost to Johnson, rather than the other way around. The above text has been corrected.
 

David Perdue and Georgia

The stage is set in Georgia

Updated