Of course, the problem is always finding that savior, but would you believe that the person who most resembles Republican Jesus is ... Herman Cain? Yep, it's true! The Hermanator has a gaudy 68-20 favorability score with Republicans and would beat Chambliss 50-36 in a direct head-to-head. Unfortunately, Cain recently said he wouldn't run, but hey, there's a sketchy report on Twitter saying PPP's numbers have him reconsidering, so yeah, awesome!
Incidentally, PPP also tested a whole variety of other figures in two-ways with Chambliss: Reps. Paul Broun, Tom Price, and Allen West, as well as former SoS Karen Handel and conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who, like Cain, has already said he wouldn't run. (West has also said he has no desire to move from Florida back to his native Georgia.) Chambliss crushes each of them with 50 percent or more except for West, whom he beats 47-26. In a never-gonna-happen kitchen sink primary, though, Cain still leads with 36, versus 23 for Chambliss, and pretty much bupkes for everyone else.
As for the general election, Chambliss does pretty well against a variety of hypothetical Democrats despite an overall 38-41 job approval score—but I should caution that all of these names are extremely hypothetical:
45-45 vs. ex-Sen. Max ClelandNone of these candidates have expressed any interest, and indeed, Barrow (who just won a tough reelection fight) has specifically said he won't run. Cleland is 70 and turned down the opportunity to avenge his 2002 loss once before. Barnes was persuaded to come out of retirement to run for governor in 2010 but hey, it was 2010 and so he lost, something that probably doesn't make him eager for another bid. Reed or Carter could be interesting, but it seems doubtful that either would take the plunge.
48-40 vs. ex-Gov. Roy Barnes
50-37 vs. Rep. John Barrow
52-37 vs. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
52-34 vs. state Sen. Jason Carter (grandson of Jimmy)
But what if ... what if Chambliss lost the primary? Tom Jensen tested Price, who seems like the toughest realistic insurgent, against this same suite of Democrats as a possible stand-in for what a post-Saxby world might look like. Thanks to his lower name rec, Price indeed performs much worse:
39-47 vs. ClelandThe Democrats, though, don't perform much better (just looking at their raw shares, not the margin), so I think Price would still be the favorite, thanks to the state's Demographic lean. But a nasty GOP primary could badly damage the eventual victory, even Chambliss. And hell, if Herman Cain somehow won, I'd say anything would be possible in the general election. So note to Tom: Please test Hermano against some Democrats next time! I'll even buy you a pizza!
40-46 vs. Barnes
40-38 vs. Barrow
43-38 vs. Reed
42-36 vs. Carter