More GA-8 Polling

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.


  1. griftdrift says:

    Internal poll at +3 = losing by 10 in the real world.

    Strangely, this news is worse than all the professional pollsters.

    Having said that, we’ve all seen Jim Marshall pull a rabbit out of ahat before.

    • Oh that’s not always true. You can actually make the case that he’s underperforming what he’ll actually get among African Americans in a federal race, and that they are also underweighting with the AA universe in that district.

      Could Marshall lose? Sure. But if you know anything about the district, you know that he’s got a pretty solid floor of about 45 that he won’t dip below even in a wipeout. And you also know that there shouldn’t be a lot of movement towards Marshall in the final weeks – which means if he ended up with 45, polls should show him at like 43…not 35 or 37.

      The Hill poll also said Obama got 35 in the district and that Marshall was getting 37…Obama got 43.

  2. Tyler says:

    True griftdrift, but this time Marshall isn’t against Mac Collins.

    I don’t think Austin Scott will have any trouble beating Marshall. His campaign team has been tenacious and volunteer support is pouring in from across the state for this one. The GOP smells blood. This week’s final push will be crucial for Austin and critical for Jim.

  3. griftdrift says:

    I agree Austin is the strongest candidate the GOP has ever put up (and I haven’t drowned myself in the Kool-Aid).

    Now…don’t you have some phone banking to do?

    • Why because he consistently underperformed in every election he’s ever run in in the house district? McCain got well over 60% in HD 153 in 2008…Austin ran about 10 points behind.

        • Well how to you explain that he underperformed John Tibbets (who has a very similar profile to Marshall) by 10% compared to both McCain and Perdue in 2006 and 2008?

            • Sorry that was a little unclear. HD 153 is Austin’s house district and has been since 2004. In 2004 he ran unopposed but in 2006 and 2008 he ran against a military veteran public school teacher named John Tibbets.

              Congressional District 8 happens to be entirely in HD 153 (or vice versa) so so interesting comparisons…

              2006 HD 153
              Taylor 3,418 (35%)
              Perdue 5,983 (62%)
              Lib 248 (3%)

              Marshall 4,084 (43%)
              Collins 5,388 (57%)

              Tibbetts 4,324 (45%)
              Scott 5,234 (55%)

              So what you can see is that while Perdue was getting 62% in this district, and Mac Collins was getting 57%, Austin was behind at 55%. Against a candidate who is very similar, profile wise, to Jim Marshall. Keep in mind also that Austin is a 10 year incumbent by this point – this is new territory for Marshall.

              Fast forward to 2008:
              Obama 5,966 (37%)
              McCain 10,270 (63%)
              Barr 98 (0%)

              Marshall 7,911 (51%)
              Goddard 7,485 (49%)

              Tibbetts 7,329 (47%)
              Scott 8,430 (53%)

              So, how can we summarize here…Collins was a better candidate against Marshall in Scott’s district than Scott himself. Scott did a little better than Goddard, but Goddard sucked wind everywhere.

              Scott ran 7 points behind Perdue in his home district, 10 points behind McCain. Each year,, running against a candidate who has a very similar profile to Jim Marshall, Scott did about the same as…Jim Marshall’s opponent. This is in his home district that he represented for over a decade. Tell me why again state and national Republicans like Perdue and McCain are between 7 and 10 points more popular than Scott in his district?

              If Collins is such a crap candidate (that is so not true by the way) and Scott is so awesome why did Collins do 2% better in a district he had never represented than one that has known Scott for 10 years?

              • griftdrift says:

                There’s lot more to Collins than my generalization of crap and your generalization of not crap. Redistricting, difference in turnout between 06 and 08, blah blah blah.

                Oh Chris. I could sit here and talk to you about electoral math all night. But alas. There is beer to drink.

                • The point is, Scott consistently underperforms other Republicans in his house district, and yet he’s an amazing candidate. Maybe this year will be different, but maybe he’s still the same Austin Scott who did 2 points worse than Mac Collins in his home district.

                  By the way – extend that logic out – do you think Scott will do better in the old Mac Collins territory (Butts, Newton, Jasper) than Mac did?

                  • polisavvy says:

                    To answer your question about Butts, Jasper, and Newton County, in a word “YES.” The volunteer support in these counties is very strong and the numbers of volunteers is very high. I don’t know if you have had an opportunity to ride through these counties, but Scott signs are springing up everywhere. I have people calling me on a daily basis requesting signs — I live in Newton County. The volunteers are working seven days a week. You really need to start preparing yourself that there is a good chance that Jim Marshall is going down. You seriously need to quit dwelling in the past. This is a new year, a new election cycle, and a whole new dislike of democrats (even ones like Marshall). Not a good year to be a democrat in the 8th.

  4. GabrielSterling says:

    If you look at the early voting results 48% of the voters last primary ballot pulled was GOP compared to 41.5% Dem (the balance have no primary voting history). In this cycle you can expect to see more of those who pulled Democrat Primary ballots for local elections, like Sheriff and County Commissioner, to vote for Austin while if you have voted GOP you are no nearly as likely to crossover and vote for Marshall.

    In looking at who is undecided and historical turnout, Austin ought to win by between 5-8 points.

    The DCCC pulled out for a reason…and its not because Marshall’s campaign has been going so swimmingly.

    • I hate to break it to you, but if you look at the early voter history for primary 2010 – the “last” primary, 12,086 voted in the Democratic primary, 18,487 voted in the Republican primary and 22,160 didn’t vote.

      If you look at just white voters it is:
      18,088 Republicans
      5,137 Democrats
      13,908 Didn’t vote in primary

      I would actually wager than Marshall gets almost all of the white Democratic primary voters – if you know anything about rural Ga politics you know that most county offices are up in presidential year primaries, not gubernatorial year primaries. These people came out to vote for Roy, Dubose, Poythress or Thurbert in the primary, they will be for Marshall overwhelmingly.

      Republican primary voters on the other hand will have some bleed to Marshall – Scott won’t dominate there as much as Marshall does. So what it essentially breaks down to is can Marshall get about 8,000 votes of these approx 32,000 non Democratic primary voting whites? I would say yes – I believe he’ll get some of the Republicans, maybe 2,000 and then would just need to get about 40% of the non 2010 primary voting whites.

  5. Chris,

    If anyone ever calls you a pessimist, then tell them to come see me.

    Scott wins by double digits. I had been concerned that conservatives had begun to lose interest due to all of the drama in Washington, but I’m seeing a resurgence as we get closer to election day.

    Marshall will not get a reprieve for his pro-Pelosi votes. Marshall’s personal positives may remain fairly high with some voters (not me), but there is too much at stake for them to trust a man who doesn’t seem to know what he believes. He’s gone.

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