Congressman Jim Marshall has released the results of an internal poll indicating he has a 3% lead over challenger Austin Scott, with 9% of the vote undecided.
Marshall is holding his base (87% among Democrats) and garners significant crossover support from Republicans (19%). On the other side, Scott is getting 73% of the Republican vote. Marshall has a slight 5-point edge among independents (45% to 40%). And though Scott holds a large lead among white voters (57% to 32%), Marshall garnes overwhelming support from African-Americans (84% to 10%) who comprise 26% of voters in the District. This 26% African-American turnout is the same percentage Marshall won with his narrow 2006 victory.
In short, the Congressional election in Georgia’s 8th District is going to come down to the wire.
A variety of other polls have shown that Austin Scott was leading the incumbent Congressman, however, this internal poll suggests they skewed turnout demographics. A previous internal poll conducted by the DCCC had Marshall with a 12% lead. If you are a human, you read Georgia political news daily, and you have no intention of ceasing either of those between now and next Tuesday – expect to see more polls with a variety of results.
National news outlets report that the majority of Independents are breaking for Republicans this cycle – but if you look at the history of this district such a trend may not hold much water here.
Marshall’s campaign is right, this race will come down to the wire. The previous midterm cycles Marshall has been in have been close races, while he has performed better in Presidential cycles. This race will be about turnout. Looking over the Secretary of State’s Office’s numbers, GA-8 has had a high early vote turnout compared to the other Congressional districts.
Make of these tea leafs what you will.