In 2002 Roy Barnes sought reelection with an intimidating war chest of almost twenty million dollars and a solid lead in the polls. In 2006 Roy Barnes is back in private practice and his 2002 opponent Sonny Perdue seeks reelection with a large war chest and a solid lead in the polls. There are some similarities between Barnes in 2002 and Perdue in 2006, but Perdue does not have that air of invincibility that surrounded Barnes in the fall of 2002. As I recall, Barnes was even touted as a 2004 Presidential candidate, and nobody is publicly talking about Perdue in those terms.
Considering what happened to Barnes, it is fair to ask if Sonny Perdue is headed for a November 7 upset? Only time will tell, but I thought it might be interesting to compare the public opinion polls Barnes enjoyed in 2002 with the data Perdue enjoys today.
I did an archive search at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to see just how large Barnes’ lead was in September and October of 2002 and could not find any poll results reported by the AJC in September. The polling data as reported in October and November are listed below. For comparison purposes, I’ve listed the most recent polling data for Perdue v. Taylor.
I also could not find any data showing Barnes with as big a lead as Perdue has now. As you can see, in the days leading up to the 2002 election, Barnes had a solid eleven point lead over Perdue. However, I found no evidence that Barnes had a 19 point lead as Mason-Dixon says Perdue has now. Furthermore, if Barnes had a 19 point lead in September and then only a 11 point lead in October, one would think the storyline would have been Perdue’s late surge – which as we all remember was not the case. Therefore I’ve concluded that Barnes never had that large a lead. If someone has information to show otherwise, please post it.
It will be interesting to track the poll results in October to watch for a Taylor surge, but the polling data certainly looks favorable for Perdue at this point.
|Insider Advantage||Mason-Dixon||Strategic Vision|
|9/19-9/20/06||9/23 – 9/27/06||9/22 – 9/24/06|