Landmark Final Poll: Deal Closes Gap To “Statistical Tie” With Handel; Hudgens, Olens Enjoy Solid Leads

From a press release. Get your crosstabs here after 4:30pm:

Landmark Releases Poll – Deal Fights Back, Governor’s Race Now “Toss Up”; Olens Leads Attorney General, Hudgens Leads For Insurance

(Duluth)—Within the last week former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal has closed the gap on former Secretary of State Karen Handel in the Republican gubernatorial runoff contest, according to a poll conducted by Landmark Communications Inc.

Deal now leads by a razor-thin 2% margin, though this margin is clearly the 3.9% margin of error for this survey. Deal leads 44-42% over Handel with 14% saying they will vote but are still undecided. Based on a previous Landmark poll conducted August 1st, Deal has moved up eleven percentage points over the past week, from nine back to two ahead.

The so-called “gender gap” remains very small as 41% of men and 43% of women say they are voting for Handel – a 2% difference, again within the margin of error. 45% of men and 42% of women give their vote to Deal.

“Nathan Deal has moved from behind to a statistical tie,” said Landmark President Mark Rountree. “Over the past week, Deal effectively won many undecided and less committed voters, making this a dead heat. We don’t make a prediction on the outcome of this.”

Other noteworthy results from Landmark’s polling:

State Sen. Ralph Hudgens leads in the election for Insurance Commissioner with a 41%% to 23%% lead over attorney Maria Sheffield.

Former Cobb Chairman Sam Olens has a 50-16% lead over State Sen. Preston Smith.

Landmark Communications randomly selected voting households that participated in the July 20 Republican primary election with 623 voters participating in the survey and completing all questions.

The survey was conducted by telephone on Aug. 7. Landmark paid for this survey on its own and does not represent a client in this election. The margin of error is 3.9%.


  1. Doug Grammer says:

    No matter who wins, some of my friends will be sad. It’s just a question of which ones. I’m hoping that they can get over it and focus on November.

    • Baker says:

      “I’m hoping that they can get over it and focus on November.”

      Piggy-backing on a Buzz post from earlier today, this is key.

    • Three Jack says:

      handel wins, it will be a pleasure supporting the gop nominee. if deal wins, monds picks up major support from disenfranchised conservatives unwilling to support a disgraced former congressman who never missed a chance to support debt filled social programs like nclb and medicare part d.

      last chance georgians, vote handel or end up with a raw deal.

      • Doctor Death says:

        I got news for you LT, GOD is not interested in your petty politics. He had NOTHING to do with politics when He was here, and He wants NOTHING to do with them now either.

        So save your breath and maybe pray for all the poor suffering souls in the world tonight.

  2. Thanks for posting, Icarus. I’ll be traveling tonight so will make a quick comment…

    Deal was down nine points a week ago, has moved to a statistical tie. The 2% edge he has in our poll is within the margin of error of the poll, which is 3.9%.

    We aren’t predicting a Deal or a Handel victory with this release, just releasing the data we see. But clearly Deal has moved over the past week to make this the most competitive race we’ve seen in a long time.

    It’s interesting that Handel now leads in the 7th congressional district … Deal was up there a week ago. Metro atlanta is moving more to handle, and much of the rest of the state toward Deal.

    A classic. Bring late night popcorn.

      • Bill Knowles says:

        I agree with Monica! I don’t find this poll credible either, especially when it comes to the Insurance Commissioners race. We all have seen what a ‘great job” Mark Rountree and Landmark has done for “Congressman” Lee Hawkins with their polling and consulting.

        And that gets to the real point: If Landmark wants to be taken seriously, it either has to be a polling firm or a consulting firm, but CANNOT be both if its’ to be respected. Many of Marks’ remaining clients are members of the State Senate who have endorsed Hudgens. You have a clear and obvious conflict of interest and no one takes your “poll” seriously as people who understand this know that you can’t make your remaining clients unhappy.

        I have heard that many people got robocalls from Mark’s clients on behalf of the candidates who this “poll” shows pulling ahead. The rumor is that there was a LOT of overlap of houses that got robodials and the houses that were polled. Landmark may or may not be credible as political consultants but we know that it is not credible as a polling firm.

        Hey Mark just wondering why your main press release didn’t include any numbers for Lee Hawkins, your main client? How’s that working out for you?

      • Doug,

        We have ample data to eastblish a pattern on this poll.

        There were 77 respondents to this statewide poll who reside in the Seventh Congressional District… ample data to eastblish a pattern. These results, from Saturday, were 47 Handel to 36 Deal.

        We have a second poll out today isolating the Seventh District, which we conducted Sunday. –see the earlier Peach Pundit post from 11:30 am today… 789 respondents… Handel 46-40 in the Seventh District only poll. She clearly has risen there from a week earlier.

        Feel free to email me for any info — though blogsnark appears to be your communications choice.

        • flyonthewall says:


          I see that you say that your Sunday poll of the 7th has it 46-40 Handel and you then mention this is up from last week. If you don’t mind my asking, what were the numbers in the 7th last week?

          Also, in your humble opinion, if Handel beats Deal in the 7th by let’s say a margin of 4-6 points will that be enough to make up the difference that she MAY experience in the rest of the state?

        • Doug Deal says:


          Statistics was a huge part of my Engineering degree and practice as an engineer for quality control analysis and the like. 77 data points means a MOE for a perfectly randomly selected population of 11%, meaning if the results are even in your poll, you have a 19/20 chance for the true numbers to be anywhere from 39-61 to 61-39. There still remails a 1/20 chance it falls beyond that limit.

          That’s just for the 7th (for the statewide poll). For the rest of the state’s districts, the average sample size is 45.5 (subtract 77 from 623 and divide the result by 12), which is a MOE of 14.5, meaning if your poll gave each candidate an even chance, you can only be certain the results are between:

          65-35 and 35-65.

          I do not see how you can come to the conclusion that anything can be read from that. Taken together, the errors cancel each other out statewide, but within a single district, they do not.

          And if you think pointing out the flaws in your conclusions based on sample size is “blogsnark”, perhaps your method of choice is overblown confidence in your shakey numbers. But one method of defending bad math is to impune critics with personal attacks. Your career as a consultant has taught you very well.

          But I will overlook your attempt at being insulting and say that from the large sets, I have no issue with the sample size.

  3. Monica says:

    i don’t buy this poll. There were polls that showed Handel and Deal tied for the first spot in the primary and Handel came in with 11% more than Deal. Handel’s gonna take it, and probably by more than 5%. That’s my prediction.

    • I Am Jacks Post says:

      “There were polls that showed Handel and Deal tied for the first spot in the primary”

      What poll showed Deal and Handel tied for first?

      • Monica says:

        Rassmusen, just a handful of days before the election and on the same day another poll from GNP showed Oxendine first, Handel second, 9 points behind him. Another poll, I think by Mason- Dixon or something showed Handel first, Oxendine close second and Deal a distant third.

        There is no way that you can have a poll come out yesterday with Handel 5 points ahead, and the next day Deal with 2 points ahead. Someone’s wrong, obviously.

    • flyonthewall says:

      Seriously? I would try to respond to this, but honestly, I don’t know where to begin. It reminds me of the old parable about the people refusing to see that the emperor in deed was not wearing clothes.

      Folks, Mr. Deal has closed the gap. That seems pretty clear. Does that mean he wins, no. But it does mean that tomorrow is likely going to be very close.

      Many on here opined last week they thought that Mrs. Handel’s negative mailers would backfire. It is my very humble opinion that is exactly what is going on here.

  4. polisavvy says:

    And the undecideds are sitting there are 14%. Still anyone’s game. I wouldn’t bet the farm on who the victor will be, that’s for sure.

  5. fishtail says:

    I have a feeling that Handel will win tomorrow’s run-off against Nathan Deal. After that, she needs to find a nice-fitting pair of big girl panties, perhaps from DEPENS, as she will need several changings a day. Maybe order a couple of cases to get her through November. If she wins, she can charge future orders to the State taxpayers.

  6. REDCLAY says:


  7. Quote from Nathan:

    “Herman Cain is one of the most respected and powerful conservative voices in Georgia. I’m humbled by Herman’s support. I’m particularly proud that he cites my Real Prosperity plan to expand Georgia’s economy. Georgia conservatives trust Herman’s expertise on economic issues. His credibility is through the roof. We have tremendous momentum but this is evidence that the winds is blowing strongly in our direction.”

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