While the basics of the midterm battle for the Senate haven’t much changed over the course of the year, with Republicans maintaining a narrow but steady advantage, the specifics have changed a lot. No one mid-summer would have guessed that Democratic hopes might depend heavily on Kansas and Georgia, with Kentucky and South Dakota possibly in serious play as well. The latest surprise is Michelle Nunn’s apparent lead in GA (she’s now up a point in the RealClearPolitics polling average) over a GOP nominee originally thought to be the least vulnerable candidate available. But business executive David Perdue’s self-inflicted wound in all but boasting in a deposition (before he decided to run for office, of course) that he had specialized in outsourcing–compounded by saying he was “proud” of it when asked about it most recently–has given Nunn ready ammunition, particularly in view of Perdue having nothing other than his business record to recommend him. Nunn’s biggest problem could be Georgia’s majority-vote requirement, which means that even if she wins a plurality on November 4 she might be knocked into a January 6 runoff where low and Republican-leaning turnout patterns would normally be expected. In the end Georgia–and also the Senate race in NC, where incumbent Kay Hagan is universally regarded as having run the better campaign–may be a test of whether this is a year when candidate and campaign quality matter more than the “fundamentals” of partisan strength and national environment.