Huge bloc of independents makes Ga. races hard to predict

Georgia is shaping up to be one of the nation’s most unpredictable, and perhaps most pivotal, states in the 2014 election cycle, according to a new Gallup survey.

Its Senate and governors’ races remain close, and if no one tops 50 percent, there’ll be a runoff. Democrats are eager to win this Senate seat, since the winner would replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Republican.

So far, the race between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue is regarded as close. Perdue has a small lead in most polls.

And here’s what makes it tough to handicap: “While Republicans typically use low approval ratings against the president, and against those who share his Democratic affiliation, their attacks on the president's performance might not be as fruitful in the Peach State as it is in other states with close Senate races,” says the new Gallup poll released Friday.\

“Though Obama is unpopular with Georgians, his approval is on par with that of the 50-state average, and therefore might not be the most convincing case to make against a Democratic candidate. For her part, Nunn has reminded voters that Obama will only be in office for the first two years of the elected senator's term, and that his name will not appear on the 2014 ballot.”

There’s also this: Four of 10 in the state say they’re independents. The remaining Georgians are divided between Reupblican and Democrat.