Some of this year's biggest House and Senate races will come one step closer to being decided today, when voters head to the polls for primaries in four states. Federal candidates are required to file pre-primary reports with the FEC listing the status of their campaigns' funds as of 20 days before the primary. A look at what the candidates have spent and how much they have left on hand can provide a glimpse of what is to come in the general election, if the candidates can get voters on their sides.
Georgia's Tuesday election is a run-off, to resolve races not decided in the state's July 20 primary elections. While much attention is on the Republican gubernatorial primary pitting Karen Handel against Nathan Deal, Georgia's ninth House district also features a contentious race. Republican incumbent Tom Graves and challenger Lee Hawkins are facing off over the seat. Though Graves received 49 percent of the primary vote to Hawkins' 27 percent in the July 20 primary, he received less than the 50 percent needed to win. Graves has been spending more in advance of the run-off, claiming over $165,000 in disbursements in the first three weeks of July, compared to $27,500 for Hawkins. Today will be the fourth time the two men will have faced each other on the ballot, having also faced a special election and a run-off for the seat earlier this year, in addition to the July primary. [See who gives the most to Graves.]
Altogether, Georgia's political landscape does not appear likely to change as a result of the 2010 elections. Of Georgia's 13 House seats--six held by Democrats and seven by Republicans--none are likely to change parties.