Countdown to election: 5 days

Staff writers from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution are traveling with the top candidates in the governor’s race and the U.S. Senate campaign through Tuesday’s general election. Here are Wednesday’s highlights from the campaign trail:

Michelle Nunn

Democratic Senate candidate

Where was she? Albany, Columbus, Macon

Themes: Nunn stressed the importance of raising the minimum wage, cutting regulations for businesses and the need to send to Washington people willing to find common ground.

What she said: “David (Perdue) has doubled down on a government shutdown,” she said in Columbus, near Fort Benning. “You know in Columbus what that meant. We don’t need to go back to that.”

What a voter said: “She is a breath of fresh air. She’s not part of the political establishment. She’s given herself to service, working with volunteer organizations. She has the right ideas about improving the economy. She’s right about raising the minimum wage. She’s a person of integrity, a person of truth.” — Scott Nash, a professor of religious studies at Mercer University

Atmosphere: Energetic. Big crowds jammed into small spaces at restaurants in all three cities. They chanted her name, worked to get photos taken and were generally upbeat. Whether it was the breakfast place in Albany, the pizza place in Columbus or the up-scale eatery in Macon, the crowds were similar: Diverse and happy.

Follow on Twitter: @asheinin

— Aaron Gould Sheinin

David Perdue

Republican Senate candidate

Where was he? Monroe, Augusta, Sandersville

Themes: Taking on President Barack Obama, even more than usual with Mitt Romney in town.

What he said: “I want to ask you something. Wouldn’t you like to have Governor Romney as President Romney? I’ve been waiting for three weeks to do that, y’all.”

What a voter said: “One of the big things is change. He’s an outsider and proud of it.” — Johnny Gleason, Monroe

Atmosphere: Big turnout and excitement in Augusta, where Perdue was joined by former presidential nominee Mitt Romney and congressional candidate Rick Allen.

Follow on Twitter: @ajconwashington

— Daniel Malloy

Nathan Deal

Republican gubernatorial candidate

Where was he? Sylvester, Tifton, Moultrie, Valdosta, Nahunta, St. Simons, Darien and Savannah

Themes: Deal spent much of his time on the stump touting his criminal justice overhaul, which diverted nonviolent offenders from prison and cut corrections costs. He also stepped up his attacks on Carter’s “Washington math” and claimed the Democrat would raise taxes.

What he said: “If you want Washington math, vote for Carter. If you don’t want Washington math, vote for me. We don’t need Washington math in Georgia.”

What a voter said: “I support the whole party. The GOP does more for black people than Democrats. Who was against segregation? Voting rights? Democrats.” — Bill Donaldson, a black Republican in Valdosta

Atmosphere: The governor was met by more tepid crowds in the smaller rural towns he visited on Wednesday morning. They got a dose of red meat from the host of state officials who traveled with the governor on the tour’s third day.

Follow on Twitter: @bluestein

— Greg Bluestein

Jason Carter

Democratic gubernatorial candidate

Where was he? Decatur, Lawrenceville, Atlanta

Themes: Supporting the Democratic ticket, thanking campaign volunteers, getting base supporters to turn out on Election Day

What he said: On voting for a straight Democratic ticket: “It is an important moment for me, without a doubt. There is a sense of it coming down to reality. And I have this sense of calm about it but I’m also excited.”

What a voter said: “We need a new face in the governor’s house. Nathan Deal has a lot of baggage that is questionable.” — Amy Calloway of Stone Mountain

Atmosphere: Low-key. Carter started his day by casting an early ballot for himself — along with the rest of the Democratic ticket — at the Gallery at South DeKalb. His wife, mother, sister and other relatives joined him. He also visited students at Druid Hills High School before stopping at Democratic campaign offices in Decatur and Lawrenceville. Another stop was planned for the amphitheater outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Follow on Twitter: @JeremyLRedmon

— Jeremy Redmon

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