The End of Saxby Chambliss Could Spell the Return of... Herman Cain

The Atlantic

Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced on Friday that he's not running for reelection in 2014, which opens the door for a comeback of perhaps the funnest candidate of all time, Herman Cain. Cain was the top choice of Georgia Republican voters in a December survey by Public Policy Polling. Cain, the former pizza executive who dodged questions about sexual harassment allegations by breaking into song, was seen favorably by 68 percent of state GOP voters, and was beating Chambliss in a hypothetical Republican primary by 50 percent to 36 percent.

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But that's not all! Georgia is packed with politicians known for saying very interesting things. Among the names floated for the Senate seat include RedState blogger Erick Erickson, who was trailing Chambliss 22 percent to 51 percent in PPP's poll. Former Florida Rep. Allen West, known for saying many things, including that as many as 80 Democrats in Congress were communists, trailed Chambliss 26 percent to 47 percent. Georgia Rep. Paul Broun, who recently said "I think the only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution," trailed Chambliss 14 percent to 57 percent. Though PPP didn't poll his name, let's not forget about Rep. Phil Gingrey, who recently defended Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comments.

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As for Democrats, the man Chambliss beat in 2002, Max Cleland, was the strongest candidate in the December poll. Cleland tied Chambliss at 45 percent each, in part because Chambliss had a relatively high approval rating among Democrats. Whoever wins the Republican primary might not have that advantage. Other Democratic contenders include Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed, former Gov. Roy Barnes, and Rep. John Barrow, who has a more competitive seat after redistricting, but still won in 2012 by 7 percentage points.

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