Given his popularity at home and near-sterling record in Washington D.C., it doesn’t take much to come to the conclusion that it will be very difficult to unseat U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson in November, (and harder in the May Primary). After seeing his Q1 financial reports from the Federal Election Commission, the task looks even more monumental.
First comes the Republican Primary on May 24th. Anyone hoping for a Cantor-esque upset from the far right can go ahead and put those dreams aside – it’s simply not going to happen. The two challengers, Mary Kay Bacallao of Fayatteville and perennial fringe candidate Derrick Grayson, have raised a combined $23,000 to date, a total so insignificant that Isakson wouldn’t bother showing up at a fundraiser to take in.
Then comes the General Election in November. There the Democrats seem to have found their man in Jim Barksdale, a businessman and political outsider hoping to follow in the footsteps of Junior U.S. Senator David Perdue and ride that dissatisfied-with-D.C. wave into a late-fall upset.
He certainly has the deep pockets to make things interesting, kick-starting his campaign with a $1 million self-loan which he hopes will provide the momentum needed to get his political snowball rolling downhill.
So far the Democratic base has failed to take notice though, with only $15,877 in individual donations reported in Q1 of 2016. Compare that number to Isakson’s whopping $3,689,368, (and that’s just individuals, and does not include his $1,822,452 from various political organizations) and it’s easy to see why every political predictor sees the seat as a safe GOP win.
Yes, there’s a long way to go before November. Donald Trump at the top of the Republican ticket could have some wacky effects on races across the country. And there’s still the issue of Isakson’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, which he has downplayed but still looms over his campaign. At this point though those potential issues seem like straws for hopeful Dems to grasp at; barring a Game of Thronesian twist it appears that Isakson holds all the cards to cruise to a final term in D.C.