Courage, Committment, Determination, and Ego make first-time candidates or challengers to incumbents run. But what does it take to make them win? Candidates ranging from Jason Carter (Governor), Christopher Irvin (Agriculture Commissioner), Gerald Beckum (Secretary of State) to Brian Roslund, Harris County Democrat & Railroad executive taking on Incumbent (R) State Senator Josh McKoon to Joyce Denson of Toomsboro challenging Bubber Epps for HD 144 have stepped up to the plate to defeat entrenched incumbents.
The challenges they faces are legion: Will major demographic changes in the state bode well for Carter, a Bluedog Georgia Democrat running in a Republican leaning state? Will Gerald Beckum's well-connected personal contacts across the state from his time of mayor of Oglethorpe bring the dollars so critical to his campaign? Will candidates such as Brian Roslund attract enough media attention? To whom can they turn for sound strategic advice and support? Balancing key issues in electoral politics with a fascinating David-and-Goliath storyline
How does anyone ever defeat a sitting incumbent? It's simple: Have a message that rings and resonates among open-like-minded voters. Because the rigid partisans, those types are unreachable.
The most likely conditions under which a incumbent is defeated would be where there is something extraordinary going on politically, such as the economy in dire condition, or voters who makeup the regular, working class, everyday Joes feel that their situation isn't getting any better.
In order for incumbents to lose elections, they must not only be perceived as having failed, but conditions ranging from economic to overall conditions throughout the state have to be going in a downward spiral or trending that way. Those discouraging conditions make a challenger's message resonate. If some of those conditions don't exist, the challenger might have a very bold, convincing message that ought to be appealing, but it will not be enough to persuade most voters to support the challenger. The main decision that voters are making is not whether they want to endorse the challenger's vision and message, but whether they want to throw out the incumbent.