Aug. 1, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Can a Race Be Tight and Yet Not Competitive?

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Although a new Democratic poll shows GOP Rep. Steve Southerland (above) and challenger Al Lawson in a dead heat, itís hard to imagine Lawson winning in November, Stuart Rothenberg writes.

So, I donít have trouble accepting the Lester poll or other private Democratic surveys showing Lawson running even with Southerland in the mid-40s. But Lawsonís problem is that he is starting to bump up against his ceiling. He will need to get half of the votes cast in the district, and he canít get there next month.

Given that, while some observers look at Lesterís poll and see a possible Lawson victory, all I see is a candidate getting his base vote ó a vote that, because of the districtís makeup, will fall a few points short of what he needs.

Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.

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