New Poll On GOP Governor’s Primary And Sunday Sales

Received via email this morning.


A new InsiderAdvantage/RosettaStone poll conducted on 2/10/2010 of 580 likely Republican Primary voters reveals little change in the race for Governor. Notable differences include a small drop in support for Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and a small increase for former President Pro Temp of the Georgia State Senate, Eric Johnson.

A poll conducted on the same date regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays of 1,235 likely Georgia voters shows general election voters supporting Sunday sales by a 12 point margin. The survey of 580 Republican Primary voters shows a much more grim picture for the supporters of Sunday sales. Republican Primary voters are almost evenly divided on the subject of Sunday sales. With no clear mandate among Republican Primary voters, expect little movement on the issue of Sunday sales among a Republican dominated General Assembly.

Georgia Republican Primary Governor’s Primary

John Oxendine: 24.9%
Karen Handel: 9.6%
Nathan Deal: 9%
Eric Johnson: 6.9%
Austin Scott: 3.2%
Ray McBerry: 1.4%
Undecided/No opinion: 45%
Margin of error: 4%

Visit to view our Sunday sales survey as well as all crosstabs.

Overall, the race stays pretty much the same. Ox in front with Handel and Deal essentially tied for second and Johnson in 4th. However, it seems to me (compared to other polls we’ve posted here, here, here, and here) that the number of undecideds are rising. Oxendine has not solidified his status as frontrunner and none of the other candidates have made a move to challenge him.


  1. Really, most of the rank and file are not glued to the campaigns. Heck, they probably ought to ask the question, do you have a clue who is in the race? Of course they would say Oxendine. He’s been running a long time and has broad state name recognition.

    I would bet most people are still shell shocked over their 401(k) and the excesses of Congress and the White House. That 45% is a big number That will split any number of ways beginning in mid May.

    Why the long long long long campaigns is beyond me. I wonder if their is a UGA, GT or Mercer professor who will conduct a study to see if this new phenomenon will yield a “yawn effect” or yield the air of incumbency?

  2. polisavvy says:

    With the undecideds or no opinion at 45%, any of these candidates still have a pretty good chance to make it to the runoff (which with 7 candidates still in the mix will undoubtedly happen). Nothing is etched in stone and anything can still happen. After all, this is politics! I guess all of Ox’s publicity is starting to chip at his numbers.

  3. Mayonnaise says:

    If you factor in name ID, I think that makes even a better case for Johnson. Deal and Handel both have name ID built into their polling number. For Johnson to be so close to them with very little name recognition and before spending a dime is impressive. It’s all upside for EJ. Also, with Ox not raising money in this reporting period, EJ may be sitting at the top come Mar 31st reporting.

      • Mayonnaise says:

        Well I don’t think Austin Scott has a chance. No money, no name recognition, and no polling. He needs to run against Marshall. He would get huge support from across the state and a boat-load of money.

        OXENDINE – 24.9% – $1,952,423
        HANDEL – 9.6% – $439,998
        DEAL – 9.0% – $690,275
        JOHNSON – 6.9% – $1,300,032
        SCOTT – 3.2% – $39,827
        MCBERRY – 1.4% – $17,986
        CHAPMAN – 0% – $17,834

          • polisavvy says:

            That’s very true, B Balz. Plus, I wonder how much of the money the candidates are reporting is money that is earmarked for the primary and which is to be used for the general election. If you have already maxed out donors, you can only use a portion of that money for the actual primary and the remainder for the general. That could attribute to the amount of monies raised to date, hence the cash on hand. I still believe that any of the candidates could still make it to the primary. Some think it’s already a done deal. I don’t see it that way. Plus, contrary to the belief of some, endorsements carry a lot of weight.

        • AnyoneElse2010 says:

          I am pretty sure that Scott has a good bit more money then what you just put down. Not as much as the other candidates, but more then what you put down.

          • Mayonnaise says:

            Scott loaned his campaign $119,225 to fluff up his numbers. He has no intention of spending it. I backed out similar loans from Ox and Deal’s numbers. Deal actually got a loan for 250k by putting $250k in safety deposit box as collateral. That sounds like an Enron move to me.

          • gasurvivor says:

            COH: $159,052.24
            Debt (Loan): $119,225.00
            Total: $39,827.24

            Yes, 24 cents more than what Mayo “put down.”

          • polisavvy says:

            So, are you guys saying that he has set a new precedence and is the first and only candidate to ever invest his own money into a campaign?

          • polisavvy says:

            Well, at least he’s collected what he’s collected the way he should without any help from any lobbyists which is more than some can say. I personally like the “Bloomberg” approach, paying for your campaign with some of your own hard-earned money, not money you’ve received from people who could control you. Kind of like the not-a- puppet-boy approach. Rather you like him or not, you have to give him kudos for that and for knowing that he doesn’t go to Hollywood or drink $300 bottles of wines paid for by lobbyists.

          • Mayonnaise says:

            He loaned it to the campaign on the next to last day before cut-off for reporting. Without it, he would have spent more than he took in during the July 1st-Dec 31st period.

            12/30/2009 – $110,000.00

          • polisavvy says:

            And your point is what exactly? That he did something illegal or something that no other candidate has ever done? And, your sentence, “He has no intention of spending it.” How exactly it is that you know his intent? I’m not trying to be snide, just curious about how him doing this is really, in the scheme of things, such a big deal since he risen since the last poll was taken. I don’t believe he’s down and out right now, just as I don’t believe that the candidates polling higher are absolutely, written in stone and necessarily going to stay where they are.

        • Mayo,

          No horse in this race yet, but Austin did well among the Peach Pundit folks at Vesuvius. I’ve mentioned this before on here, but he has good ideas and presents them well.

          At this point in the race, I would not count him out – and he is one of only two candidates who showed an increase in the polls.

  4. Harry says:

    At this point, Karen has very strong support built on desire for reform while Ox’s support is based on name recognition. As others mentioned already, if Karen gets in the runoff she has a good shot.

  5. benevolus says:

    Wow. So this Train-Wreck-A-Thon will continue for a while longer. In Super Slow Motion.
    Y’all better not let him win the nomination. Even I don’t want that, just in case Roy has a heart attack or something and we all get stuck with him.

  6. John Konop says:

    With 93% of kids in public schools and the economy on the rocks the timing for pushing the Johnson voucher idea is not now. When you add in the real cuts that need to happen we are facing 4 day school week, more teacher pay cuts, teacher lay-offs and larger class sizes.

    The truth is tax revenue is dying and the Perdue budget is based on 4.5% growth. The truth is the budget might have to add another 1 billion dollars of cuts on top of the current proposed cuts.

    In my opinion I would cut the DOE, 20% of all administrators, 20% cut back on salaries of employees making over 6 figures, consolidate resources of colleges and vocational with High Schools, raise lunch prices, fuel charge for buses, make sure all sport teams cash flow on participation fees before taking money away from teachers and the classroom. BTW this is just a start!

    I challenge anyone to do the math on the Perdue budget and tell me how I am wrong! And if you think pushing a private school voucher to people facing lower wages, no job or underemployed will sell in a general election you are kidding yourself.

    I would love to hear how Johnson thinks a parent can come up with extra 7 to 11k a year per kid for a private school?

    • Mayonnaise says:

      The voucher program is just one option. I believe there is a waiting list for the Georgia Virtual Academy which costs less than $2k/student (someone confirm?). Finding a voucher or tax break for parents who want to homeschool but need a little extra help would also save some money. Encouraging more charter schools will help. Is school choice an instant cure-all? Of course not. But public education is not improving and throwing more money into has historically not worked.

        • John Konop says:


          If you look at the data this issue will kill Johnson and the GOP in a general election, because the overwhelming amount of voters use a public school for their kids or grandkids. And most parents for many reason cannot home schools their kids or afford a private school.

          I would not want to explain to pissed off parents why you did all the drastic cuts in public schools and took money away for a choice of home school/spend 7 to 11k per kid while their kid is now in a public school with more kids per class going 4 days a week.

          As someone who has a kid in private school I would love the money. But this idea is political suicide in this current economic environment.

          • Mayonnaise says:

            Your assumption is that adding vouchers, more GVA slots, and more homeschoolers, it would take away money from public school? I think the opposite would happen. I think you’d end up with more money per public school student. Also, your $7 – $11k is high. There are hundreds of small Christian Schools across this state that cost between $4k-7k per year. And there are tens of thousands of Christian families that would put their kids there in a heartbeat with a voucher. Even a 50% voucher. The long-term solution is to allow the money to follow the child and give parents the freedom to choose the educational solution that best fits their needs. This will encourage competition and may even put a few more bucks into the pockets of our best teachers. Milton Friedman would agree. 🙂

          • John Konop says:


            In all due respect you are flat out wrong about the affordability of private school in this economy on a macro level for most parents. Also the teachers, administrators, PTA…..will revolt like you have never seen before if they think 1 dime left after the drastic cuts!

            I do agree with Ken, the shifting of public schools would be a winner.

          • Mayonnaise says:

            King’s Way Christian School (Douglasville) = $4100
            Grace Baptist Christian School (Powder Springs) = $5450
            North Point Christian School (Carrollton) = $5100

            I could add dozens more.

          • John Konop says:


            Just from a logistics stand point private schools only support 7% of the students. You do not even have the classrooms to make any real alternative on a macro level. And the majority of kids attending private schools pay 3 to 4 times more ie Walker, Lovett, Darlington, AHA……….

            As I said I would love the money, but if the GOP runs on this after parents see the new school budget it will be revolt like you have never seen.

            They are polling people pre the new budget. And I am sure other issues will change the polling numbers post the new slash to the bone budget. And any area that are core essential like education… that voters feel on a daily basis that has a drastic change you will see major poll numbers shift.

            We are facing budget cuts that no has ever seen in their lifetime. I will bet anyone on this blog the cuts will be substantially more than what Sonny cut.

            When reality sets in and people see the cuts, you are kidding yourself if you think the poll numbers mean anything relative to the top candidates come general election. As soon as school starts up it will be a new game if not sooner.

      • polisavvy says:

        I was wondering the same thing. At one minute we’re on topic, then BAM school vouchers. How are you today, Mozart?

          • polisavvy says:

            Glad you are well. I’m just fine. Just doing work (rating bills for lobbyists)(boring). Waiting for snow and trying to stay warm. Sick of cold weather.

          • polisavvy says:

            As an aside, still trying to find out what Austin Scott did earlier today that eviscerated Oxendine. Haven’t found it yet. You know anything? I wonder if it was the bill he was going to introduce today, if maybe there was a presser?

  7. There were only two candidates with increases over the previous polls: Eric Johnson and Austin Scott. You have to label them winners here because everyone else dropped in the polls. As voters become more aware of Johnson and Scott they apparently like what they hear.

    In this year of anti-incumbency but an upcoming budget crisis, Johnson’s experience cuts both ways. He gets blamed for not doing more and his experience is a positive. He only trails Deal by 2.1% and if he passes or ties Deal in future polls then his name recognition will skyrocket. Johnson has the funds available to do just that.

    Scott is somewhat in the same boat, but his ethics stands will allow him to lay claim to the “Outsider” label that will benefit him with some voters.

    John Oxendine was a wash in this poll. He only dropped 3 points despite more gaffes than many would have thought humanly possible in this period of time. The bad news for him is that we don’t know how much of his 25% support has been paying attention – as people pay more attention his mistakes and poor judgment his numbers may fall even lower. Name recognition alone may account for a significant portion of his support.

    Karen Handel and Nathan Deal were probably also break-even here. Despite the drop in poll numbers, they have remained relatively the same with regard to other candidates and remain in a strong position.

    Handel’s fracas with State Rep Ben Harbin highlighted some positives about her ability to manage a budget and her loyalty to her staff. People in this state appreciate both.

    Deal has spent a lot of time campaigning across the state and has increased his name recognition. Missing votes in Congress will carry some negatives, but in order to win, he must be out and seen.

    The 45% Undecided/No opinion at this stage of the game means this race is still wide open. I suspect that some of those who offered a preference have not yet been exposed to all of the candidates and some support will change in the coming months. Those with lesser name recognition have the most to gain here.

  8. Republican Lady says:

    Did anyone on this blog vote in this poll? I haven’t seen any of these polls to vote in nor have I been contacted and asked my opinion. I have to wonder who is seeing these polls to vote in and/or who is being contacted and asked for their vote.

    • polisavvy says:

      How many of you have ever been polled regarding polls of this nature? I haven’t ever. I wonder how the people are selected, too.

      • ByteMe says:

        I’ve been polled a bunch of times in tight election cycles. Sometimes the poll is a fake “push” poll, other times it’s legit. I don’t always answer the phone, though.

        They often can’t get the numbers for cell or VOIP phones, so that skews their numbers to start toward older people who have traditional land lines.

        • Yep, which means they probably polled roughly 1,200 older people who are just fine with Sunday sales staying the way it is. Once you start including the younger crowd in those numbers, I would venture to guess that the percentage that would approve Sunday sales goes up.

  9. Bucky Plyler says:

    What’s really interesting about this poll of 580 Rep. voters is that 45% of these voters are not commited. I don’t think any candidate has the upper hand regardless of money raised & “earned” media.

    • polisavvy says:

      Exactly. My sentiments exactly. It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings, and she’s not even gargling yet.

    • polisavvy says:

      You are talking 261 people out of 580 have no idea who they are going to vote for in July. That’s significant any way you look at it!

  10. StephenLocustGrove says:

    Ladies and Germs , yall please don’t put to much faith in the EARLY polls. There is a lot of time for all these candidates to go up or down. The BIG number here is ….. UNDECIDED 45%

  11. SouthGAConservative says:

    I am so excited to see these poll numbers! Johnson on the rise!

    But a few things: (I wish I could do this stuff at work!)
    1) Byte: Sock puppets? How about I found the candidate I believe will best lead this state and am willing to openly display and discuss my candidate. Erick does it all the time!
    2) School vouchers are not a silver bullet but they certainly seem to be a step in the right direction and could help overhaul our public school system WITHOUT a single extra dime. As for private schools, I don’t believe vouchers are about them, the government is responsible for public schools and vouchers will be more influential on improving them, then John Konop, maybe you can stop paying the private school tuition? Because your kid will have a solid public school of your choosing to attend. HOPE worked, and this honestly is a cousin program. And all that just to reiterate what you stated: 93% are in public schools anyway.
    3) Johnson’s main focus will be jobs, I find it hard to believe that will kill any Republican.
    4) Most importantly: I’m glad that there are 45% undecided, I’m ready for this race to pick up already and start filling in that gap!

    One last note: As for old people doing they poll, they’re the same folks that vote in the primary. Them and moms.

    • ByteMe says:

      Erick would be a “sock puppet”, but he uses his (supposedly) real name, so it’s not a puppet situation at all. You, on the other hand, we don’t know if you work for EJ or not, since you’re hiding behind a pseudonym.

      Same as no one knows if I work for someone else, but most have already guessed there’s no “A Pox On All Their Houses” Party that I could work for.

      • John Konop says:


        I met Erick and like the guy. I gave you guys the same warning about the economy before it blew up. I may not be a good politician, because I tell people what they do not want to hear before they hit the wall, but I do understand math! As I said when the voters finally see or understand the cuts it will be a new game in the polls. As I said I will take bets with anyone on this blog and name the odds!

        And yelling jobs without plan and talking about any money leaving public schools when parents get a 4 day schedule with bigger class size…… will not sell in a general election. The commercials against the GOP will be brutal!

          • SouthGAConservative says:

            Byte –
            A “hide” behind a pseudonym because my opinions are mine, not neccessarily my employer’s or the people I am involved with and I want to be able to speak freely. The governor’s race is something that I’ve been interested in since I got into GA politics, so it’s my pet cause.

            JK –
            4 Day schoolweek? I don’t see that happening. Though, I think it would be a good idea. I’m sure parents still working a 5 day week will raise far more hell should they lose their babysitters for a day.
            As for the math you mention, that’s going to be a GOP problem should it occur, not just a Johnson issue. And I think parents will be thrilled to hear that they get a chance to put their kids in the school they choose, especially since it’s not going to cost them a dime in taxes. I know that’s what my parents did and would loved to have had that same option with my younger brother.
            Finally, there is a plan to create jobs and I’ve heard it mentioned at events and through others I talk to.

          • ByteMe says:

            A “hide” behind a pseudonym because my opinions are mine, not necessarily my employer’s or the people I am involved with and I want to be able to speak freely.

            Of course. I’m in the same situation. My real name has hundreds of results on Google, so anonymity in this aspect of my life is important.

            I just pointed out (earlier) that there are a lot of sock puppets out here and they love to twist vague polls (straw, phone, carrier pigeon) into somehow being a positive for “their guy” and it’s a bit boring, since none of us here are likely to be swayed by the fake appeals being made.

          • AubieTurtle says:

            I suspect a bigger issue than losing the free babysitter would be pushing the school day into rush hour four days a week. Even in rural areas people coming home from work don’t want to get stuck behind school bus after school bus.

      • SouthGAConservative says:

        Yes? And? I don’t think I’m following….Can’t rip myself away from the TV long enough to focus…

      • John Konop says:


        I will bet you if Johnson runs on “vouchers” to let parents use state money to help send their children to private schools after the parents see and or understand the massive cuts he will be toast. Name the bet!

        • SouthGAConservative says:

          Ha, I respectfully disagree with you sir. I fail to see correlation you predict.

          I’d bet on EJ anyday.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          Can anyone explain how vouchers won’t cost taxpayers a dime more, unless they exclude or grandfather out vouchers nearly all of the 7% of pupils currently enrolled in private schools?

          • ByteMe says:

            That’s who they’re really for.

            It amazes me that people really don’t get that “wealth transfers” come in conservative forms as well as liberal ones. I guess maybe it shouldn’t amaze me.

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