|Poll||Date||Sample||Bishop (D)||Keown (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||51.4||48.6||Bishop +2.8|
|Landmark (R)||10/26 - 10/26||914 LV||46||50||Keown +4|
|Landmark (R)||10/19 - 10/19||836 LV||45||47||Keown +2|
|2008: Bishop (D) 69%, Ferrell (R) 31%||2008: Obama (D) 54%, McCain (R) 45%|
|2006: Bishop (D) 68%, Hughes (R) 32%||2004: Kerry (D) 51%, Bush (R) 48%|
|2004: Bishop (D) 67%, Eversman (R) 33%||2000: Gore (D) 53%, Bush (R) 47%|
10/26/10 -- Republican polling shows Bishop down, and he's almost certainly below 50 percent. Independent groups and the NRCC are in the district, so there's definitely some blood in the water. But it will be hard for the GOP to prevail in a plurality-black district.
Southwestern Georgia is still heavily rural, with peanut farms dotting the landscape. The urban centers, such as Albany (pop. 75,000). In 1992 the district was changed to create a black-majority district, and Sanford Bishop, an African American, was elected. Little changed in 2002, and in the 2005 mid-decade redistricting, the African American percentage of the district was actually raised a few points.
Racialized voting is still evident in the district. The district is 47.3 percent white and 47.5 percent black; George W. Bush received 50 percent of the vote in 2004 and John McCain received 45 percent in 2008. Bishop himself had close elections in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but has since had some luck crossing the racial divide. He typically receives two-thirds of the vote. His economically populist, socially conservative voting record is largely in sync with the district’s voters.
But this time around, Bishop has compiled a pretty liberal voting record, casting votes for the stimulus, cap and trade and the health care bill. He’s also drawn a strong challenger in state Representative Mike McKeown, who has managed to raise a decent amount of money in this inexpensive district; well more than the $10 Bishop’s opponent reported in 2008. Bishop has also come under fire for diverting scholarships to family members. He’s likely in for the toughest re-election fight of his career.