Next Tuesday, five states will hold primary elections. But it’s Georgia that will be at the center of the spotlight, hosting high-profile races up and down the ballot.
Here are seven key numbers shaping the contours of next week’s battles in Georgia:
* 50% +1: This is perhaps the most important figure to keep in mind heading into May 24. If no candidate in a Georgia primary garners more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates in the race will advance to a runoff on June 21.
* 72%: The marquee race in Georgia Tuesday is between GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and primary challenger David Perdue, the former senator who is backed by former President Donald Trump. Despite repeatedly drawing fire from Trump for not supporting his false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, Kemp has remained a popular figure in the party. A recent Fox poll found that 72% of Republican voters view Kemp favorably, compared to 56% for Perdue. The survey also showed Kemp leading Perdue 60%-28% — putting the incumbent above the runoff threshold.
* $12.3 million:
One reason Kemp has built such a formidable lead: he’s enjoyed a major advantage on the airwaves. According to an analysis of AdImpact data from CNN’s David Wright
, pro-Kemp forces have spent $12.3 million on ads for the primary. That’s nearly double the $6.4 million pro-Perdue forces have spent. And Perdue’s campaign booked $0 in ads for the final week of the campaign.
* 1: There is no drama on the other side of the gubernatorial race: Stacey Abrams is the one and only candidate on the Democratic primary ballot. If Kemp wins the GOP primary, it would set up a rematch of the contentious 2018 governor’s race in the state — and would be one of the most hotly contested races of the 2022 midterms.
* 66%: Speaking of hotly contested races, Georgia will be right at the top of the list in the battle for control of the US Senate as well. On the Republican side, Herschel Walker — with the support of Trump and Senate GOP leaders — looks like he will cruise to victory Tuesday. In the latest Fox poll, he was at 66% in the primary race, up 58 points over his closest competitor. That would set up a clash with Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who won the seat in the January 2021 runoff elections.
* 3: A primary for secretary of state would usually fly well below the national radar. But not in Georgia. Trump has his sights on the incumbent, Brad Raffensperger, who refused to go along with the then-President’s push to “find” votes to overturn the 2020 election results in the state. Raffensperger faces three Republican primary challengers on Tuesday, one of whom, Rep. Jody Hice, is endorsed by Trump.
* 9: Few states have drawn more attention from Trump this primary season than Georgia as he seeks to exert his influence over the GOP. The former President has issued endorsements in nine GOP primaries, intervening in three House races and six statewide races — including for the post of insurance and safety fire commissioner, as part of his feud with Kemp.
* 710,137: That’s how many people have voted early in the state through Thursday, which is a record, according to the Georgia secretary of state’s office. It marks a 180% increase from the same point in the early voting period in 2018 and a 149% increase compared to 2020. Early voting in Georgia ends Friday.
The Point: Georgia’s primaries will shed further light on the direction the Republican Party wants to go in — and set up critical general election contests in the battleground state.