Zoller Leads Collins, 18% Still Undecided

Martha Zoller is leading Doug Collins for the GOP coronation contest in Georgia’s 9th Congressional district according to a new poll by Wenzel Strategies (as reported on Examiner.com) The 600 likely voters split 43-39 for Zoller over Collins, with 18% “not sure”.  That’s an awful lot of open territory for each side to obtain before next Tuesday’s runoff vote, with Zoller currently slightly ahead and with recent endorsement momentum.  Zoller’s lead is fractions outside of the margin of error.

That said, expect each side to continue to distribute dueling press releases as they try to de-motivate the other side while rallying their respective bases as to who is really the insider, who is really an outsider, and what each candidate’s record/experience/past really means to a voter.  8 days left of GA-9 fun.

27 comments

  1. bullFrog says:

    Still a dead heat … but you have to love this:

    “Among self-identified _moderate_ voters, Collins leads …”

    Now that’s consistency!

  2. Runoffs are extremely tough. Typically, so few voters actually come back out, unless there are some locally contested races. The GA-12 runoff is the only race on the ballot in Bulloch County, so our turnout will probably be awful. We have to seriously take a look at instant runoff or just give it to the primary winner, 50% or not.

    • bullFrog says:

      Interestingly enough, the 9th had a runoff for both the special election to replace Nathan Deal in 2010, and the general primary later that year.

      In the special election runoff 77% of the voters returned. In the general runoff, 96.5% returned.

      • That is impressive, but I don’t think we will see anything near that in GA-12. If will be surprised if we get more than 8% turnout of registered voters for the runoff, which would be less than 50% of the primary election turnout of 16.8%.

    • Joshua Morris says:

      I like the idea of an instant runoff, in which voters could choose a 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc. Seems like technology in this case could save a lot of time and money. Giving an election to a local or statewide candidate without a plurality may not serve the voters’ true choice.

      • CobbGOPer says:

        Screw all this stuff. Jungle primary. No more seperate party primaries with the added expenses that come along with them. Top two vote-getters (regardless of party) advance and face each other in November.

        Of course, suggest that to any of the leadership (in either party) and they’d look at you like you’re from Mars (because such a system would put their incumbent protection program in peril).

    • bullFrog says:

      Oh, and I would NEVER want to see an election go to a primary winner who did not have 50% +1 vote.

      I would have to think about the 1st choice, 2nd choice, etc, thing. No way to prove any prior outcomes, but it would be interesting to think how they may have turned out.

  3. Stefan says:

    What kind of a poll doesn’t force likely voters to choose one camp or the other in a runoff? 18% undecided? That’s basically polling incompetence. Or a robo-poll.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Agreed. Who is really undecided anyway in a runoff? Its whether or not the voters that were decided decide to go back and vote again that matters. If 18% of the likely voters in a runoff are undecided, are they moving out of one camp and into another? Pollsters? Thoughts?

      • Joshua Morris says:

        I would think that anyone who is truly undecided at this point probably is not a ‘likely voter’ for the runoff.

      • Charlie says:

        I haven’t spent much time in GA-9 this cycle, but I would attempt to posit a guess that a Fitzpatrick voter is significantly to the right of both Collins and Zoller (yes, imagine that). This is the crowd that thinks the Constitution is unconstitutional and have generally called every elected Republican a Rino! or a Lib’rul. —including Tom Graves.

        So if you’re trying to decide between the lib’rul Martha Zoller or the lib’rul Doug Collins, I guess in that world it would be possible to remain undecided.

          • CobbGOPer says:

            And honestly, that’s probably what will happen. Their guy lost, no reason to go back and do it again. That’s the general MO when it comes to runoffs anyway. The guys who lost, their folks for the most part stay home because their guy isn’t in it. Runoffs are never about picking up voters from the eliminated candidates. They’re about turning YOUR voters back out in large numbers and hoping enough of the other guys voters don’t bother.

        • Joshua Morris says:

          One other consideration is that Fitzpatrick won his home turf, White County. Many of those folks voted for him because they know him as a local principal, and this particular group might not fit Charlie’s description of his typical supporter across the district. This group also will be the least likely to come out and vote again in the runoff. All that said, as close as the primary was, I think White County may just decide the runoff based on which campaign gets folks to come out there.

    • “Robo-polls”, as you call them Stefan, are actually more accurate than ‘live’ polls because they take human factor out of the equation. The industry-standard is now recorded call polling.

      Numerous studies have shown that the most accurate polls come from recorded polling (aka “IVR” polling).

      It would not be surprising that 18% of voters are undecided, either.

      However, I grant this: I strongly question the validity of this poll, as well. And have … good reason to.

      More soon.

      • Stefan says:

        I don’t think most people put a ton of stock in Rasmussen’s work, and a lot of that skepticism is because of their heavy reliance on robo polling.

        Oh, and skewed likely voter models.

        And you are right. It is not surprising that 18% are undecided. It is probably closer to 80%. However, among people that are actually going to vote, which is what that poll needs to measure, it is very high.

        So I went and looked at the poll conducted by Wenzel Strategies, which has an agreement to release their polls to Politico early – I assume in exchange for a write up. Regardless, all of Wenzel’s polls that I could find, including this one, were paid for by a group called Citizens United PAC, which lo and behold, has endorsed Martha Zoller. http://marthaforcongress.com/citizens-united-political-victory-fund-endorses-martha-zoller-for-georgias-9th-congressional-district/

        So, yeah.

    • Charlie says:

      I believe they sourced Politico, but my policy is to try to credit the direct source where I got the info, rather than just slip in a link.

  4. benevolus says:

    Amazing.
    43% of 600 is 258 votes
    39% is 234 votes.
    The difference is 24 votes, and the 18% undecided would be 108 votes.

    So Collins would need to get about 67 of those (approx.) 108 votes to win. Not THAT is some targeted GOTV!

  5. TKrause says:

    @benevolus
    Your math is flawed. The 600 votes represents a sample. If 600 people show up to vote then, yes, Martha is up by 24 votes. But if 6,000 people vote, this poll shows she is up by 240 votes. If 60,000 people vote (which is 55 percent of the people who showed up for the primary) this poll shows that Martha is ahead by 2,400 votes.

    As far as the undecideds, Doug does not need 67 voters, he needs about 61 percent of the undecided — a supermajority.

    • benevolus says:

      Oops. Sorry. Misread that. They polled 600 likely voters but that’s not necessarily ALL likely voters.

  6. slyram says:

    While I am a south Georgia moderate, I would like to say that having a lady in the Georgia congressional delegation would be a good thing. Of course, Dr. Honeycutt should be in Congress now. Look, when a party selects candidates, would it killed them to give a little considersation to what the middle and/or other guys want.

    If Gov. Huntsman was the GOP nom, the election would be over.

    • Lea Thrace says:

      Yep. Huntsman was the only one who could have truly given Pres. Obama a run for his money. People wouldnt have to keep hoping for a bad economy or major disaster to happen for a win (like with Romney).

      But Huntsman would have been too sane and rational of a pick. He did not blame the gays for all the ills of the world and did not believe that the liberal socialist marxist commies were out to destroy Amuricuh!

    • girl with a gun says:

      As a conservative woman, I would love to finally have someone who truely represents me in Congress. It is time. Go Martha!

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