GCCC Professor picks election winners

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

Panama City - Experts are predicting a large turn-out at the polls on election day. Here in the Panhandle, they're deciding on candidates for Governor, U.S. Senator and Congressman.

While voter turn out is typically lower in non-presidential elections, this year voter interest is extremely high.

"It's an influential election, this is going to be a referendum on the white house," said Michael Gattis, Social Sciences Professor at Gulf Coast Community College.

An influential election with a lot on the line, both Republicans and Democrats have put a lot of resources into this election.
"I think the big question to take away from this entire election is if the Republican turn out is very solid and Republicans do win back that House, and make substantial gains in Senate does this mean it's an endorsement of the Republican Party or rejection of the Democratic Party?" says Gattis.

If pre-election polls prove accurate ... It's a bad day to be a Democrat.

That includes district two, where U.S. Congressman Allen Boyd has served since 1996.

"First, it's a bad year to be an incumbent. Secondly, the issue in regards to someone being a Democrat when it's going to be a Republican election," said Gattis.

Gattis says the race between Boyd and Republican candidate Steve Southerland will most likely be the biggest surprise locally.

Gattis says Southerland, voting this afternoon with his family, brings more of a business perspective to the table, something that attracts the people of North Florida. But none of it makes any difference if people don't vote.

Experts say because the president himself isn't on the ballot we can expect an overall lower voter turnout from 2008, but this will still be a vocal election, nevertheless.

Twenty-five percent of Bay County voters cast a ballot before election day, leaving 75-percent of the registered voters still in-play.

"How important is any election? When you go into any issue, any concern, any process when it comes to democracy, if you're not part of the decision-making, process you're not a leader," said Bay County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Andersen.

Gattis says it's going to be a long night nationally with only 3-to-5 points separating candidates in some key races.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647 FCC Form 398
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 106579623 - wjhg.com/a?a=106579623