Election night takeaway: It still pays to be an incumbent in Georgia

All of Georgia’s congressional incumbents appeared to survive their primaries last night, extending their political fortunes until at least November during an election year that many had predicted would be a rebuke of all things Washington.

Taken as a whole, Tuesday’s results show the advantages of incumbency have not dissipated, even in the era of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Just look at the 9th and 11th congressional districts, where Republican incumbents Doug Collins and Barry Loudermilk each soundly defeated four opponents who tried to harness voter dissatisfaction with Washington and challenge them from the right. Both managed to avoid runoffs -- despite long and sustained attacks on their congressional voting records -- and since there are no Democrats running in the 9th District Collins has all but punched his ticket back to Washington next year.

Collins is not alone. Four other Georgia congressmen will be back for the 115th Congress in January thanks to their unofficial primary victories Tuesday: Republicans Buddy Carter of Pooler (1st District), Jody Hice of Monroe (10th District) and Tom Graves of Ranger (14th District) and Atlanta Democrat David Scott (13th District).

Georgia's eight other House incumbents seeking re-election will be back on the ballot for head-to-head battles in November. But since all the congressional districts are drawn in a way to favor the party already in control, few if any upsets are expected.

Also facing voters this fall will be Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who trounced his two primary opponents Tuesday evening. He'll be up against political newcomer Jim Barksdale, who avoided a runoff against two rivals in his first electoral test yesterday.

Miss our election night coverage? Our politics team has got you covered up and down the ballot:

Georgia House and Senate leaders beat back primary challenges

State senator, former mayor to compete in runoff to fill Lynn Westmoreland’s seat

Georgia’s GOP congressmen beat back anti-establishment challengers

Isakson cruises to victory; Georgia Democratic Senate race tighter

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman
Tamar Hallerman is a senior reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's enterprise team, where she covers women in society, LGBTQ issues, the urban-rural...
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