Sabato's Crystal Ball

Georgia (02) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans R

Democratic candidate: Sanford Bishop Jr., incumbent

Republican candidate: Mike Keown, state representative

Recent Updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: October 5, 2010

Democrat Sanford Bishop’s woes continue as he faces more questions over scholarship funds directed to his relatives, staff members, and campaign donors. Republicans thought they had a shot here even before the controversy exploded onto the scene, but now Republican state legislator Mike Keown has an even bigger opening to exploit. The Crystal Ball changes our rating from Likely D to Leans D.

Background:

One of perhaps the most unique congressional districts in America today, the Second District of Georgia is represented by Sanford Bishop Jr. A member of the Congressional Black Caucus and conservative Blue Dog Coalition, Bishop is a nine-term Democratic incumbent who in 2008 won with 69% of the vote, the fourth consecutive time he won with over two-thirds of his district.

Though the tide has shifted and mirroring larger national trends, Bishop is facing perhaps his strongest competitor in Republican state Rep. Mike Keown. Keown is posing stiff competition and has already made efforts to tie Bishop to the much hated Speaker of the House Nacny Pelosi (D-Calif). Perhaps most worrisome for Bishop this November are recently surfaced allegations that he has siphoned thousands of dollars from the Congressional Black Caucus to scholarships for family members.

Though this district has the makings for a strong, competitive race, Bishop is not new to serious competitors, as evidence of his tough elections from 1996-2000.