Businessman David Perdue has kept Georgia's open U.S. Senate seat in GOP hands, beating a challenge by Democrat Michelle Nunn on the strength of white voters in the reliably Republican state.
Democrats hoped Nunn, the centrist daughter of popular former Sen. Sam Nunn, would enable them to pick up a seat in an otherwise dismal midterm election.
But Perdue sustained repeated attacks on his business record by Nunn and outside groups. His chief argument to voters was that Nunn would be a rubber stamp for President Barack Obama and national Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will serve a second term after overcoming a challenge from Democrat Jason Carter, a state senator from Atlanta and grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.
Unofficial returns on Tuesday showed Deal winning by a wide margin over Carter. Deal, a former congressman, trumpeted the state's No. 1 rating by business publications and criminal justice reforms during the campaign.
Republicans counted on the party's base to hold off Carter and to win Deal enough votes to prevent a runoff. Deal also criticized Carter, who focused on education funding and the state's high unemployment rate, for being vague about how to pay for his promises.
Libertarian Andrew Hunt also was on the ballot. Several pundits had predicted that Georgia’s U.S. Senate and gubernatorial race would be too close to call and a runoff would be required. But Deal and Perdue proved them wrong.