The new Rasmussen poll in the Governor’s race got my interest up enough to take a look at how voters view each candidate, not just in this one poll, but going back to April of last year.
Using data provided by Rasmussen and the polling firm’s standard of taking the number of likely voters with strong opinions of a candidate (“Rasmussen considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers”), here is a look at the “very favorable” and “very unfavorable” numbers (called favorability in the charts below because it flowed better) for the four GOP candidates that have the best shot at winning the nomination and Roy Barnes, who is the likely Democratic Party nominee.
John Oxendine (click to enlarge)
Oxendine’s has the highest name recognition out of any GOP candidate. However, that name recognition has not translated into him running away with the primary. He once polled as high as 39%, but his support has dropped off due as voters learn more about him and all his scandals. His favorability rating reflects the drop in support.
Karen Handel (click to enlarge)
As you can see, Handel is trending up as far as favorability, although polling hasn’t reflected that at this point. It’s only a matter of time before that changes. Unfortunately, time will run out if her campaign doesn’t possess a sense of urgency.
Nathan Deal (click to enlarge)
Deal has to contend with a lack of name recognition, scandals and his obsession with Obama’s birth certificate. Voters haven’t liked what they have seen at this point.
Eric Johnson (click to enlarge)
Johnson is stuck between the first and second tier of candidates. Obviously name recognition is a problem for him. Voters responded favorably to him for the first time since he has been included in polls.
Roy Barnes (click to enlarge)
Barnes’ numbers, I think, I have less to do with him than they do the overall political climate towards Democrats. He is trending down, and I don’t think he has bottomed out. A political observer recently told me that only one GOP candidate out of the crop can beat Barnes, and it wasn’t Ox.