Political expert calls election results the "upset of the decade"

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News 12 First at Five

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Neither Jim Whitehead or Dr. Paul Broun is claiming victory or defeat after Tuesday's close vote in the race to represent Georgia's 10th Congressional district.

Paul Broun has 23,514 votes to Jim Whitehead's 23,120. That's a difference of 394 votes, which calls for an automatic recount.

"Still there are votes out and until we get all the votes counted, i'm watching and waiting to see what the final total is going to be," Broun told News 12.

Broun's lead over Whitehead has some political scientists calling Tuesday's election "the upset of the decade."

"It is a big upset, no one saw this coming," Dr. Paul Harris told News 12. Dr. Harris is a political science professor at Augusta State University.

Jim Whitehead raised more money than Bround and had Governor Perdue's support. He also had a big lead coming out of the June election. But, Dr. Harris says voters in Athens, especially disgruntled Democrats, made a big difference.

"They said a vote for Paul Broun is a vote against Jim Whitehead, and i think that is what happened in Athens. I was really surprised. Who would have thought five thousand folks in Athens would go out and vote yesterday," Dr. Harris told us.

"I guess they just convinced the people in Athens that i was not going to represent them," Whitehead said.

The numbers show Dr. Broun cleaned up in Clarke county, taking over five thousand votes compared to Whitehead's six hundred.

Whitehead won in Columbia County, but a third of the voters there opted for Broun.

Both men visibly campaigned hard, but Dr. Harris says Dr. Broun went after African American voters harder. He also says some of Broun's so called "attack ads" may have been effective.

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