ABC News' "14 For 14" project is documenting 14 races that matter between now and November. This page will be updated throughout the year. See the full list of 2014 midterm election contests the ABC News political team is tracking.
Democrats are hanging on for dear life in the South, but their best friend might be turmoil inside Republican ranks. The race to fill the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will test whether Democrats can survive there, and it could help determine which party controls the Senate in 2015. On the Republican side, the primary is going to be a free-for-all and a possible nail-biter. After a chaotic seven-way race involving three current House members, the GOP avoided finding Georgia’s version of failed Senate candidate Todd Akin, and the top two candidates are heading for a competitive July 22 runoff that could leave the winner politically bruised before the general election. Though Republicans are favored to hold on to the seat, times are changing in Georgia, with younger minority voters flocking to the Atlanta areas.
Michelle Nunn, the Democratic nominee, has a few things working in her favor: The daughter of well-respected former Sen. Sam Nunn, she’s a member of a Georgia political dynasty and she has the freedom to raise serious cash. She has the help of the network of deep pockets she cultivated as head of George H.W. Bush’s Points of Light organization, the Democratic women’s group, EMILY’s List, and even some of her dad’s old Republican friends, such as former Sen. John Warner, R-Va., and former Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind.
Despite accelerating demographic and political changes that could eventually turn Georgia into a battleground state, Republicans still have the upper hand there. The race could be determined by the candidate the Republicans choose from their field, with GOP dynamics and an extended primary likely to push the eventual nominee rightward.