Gingrey, Handel, Broun Top Citizens United GA Senate Poll

February 4, 2014 8:58 am

by Charlie · 17 comments

The Hill is reporting poll results this morning provided to them by Citizens United.  The poll conducted by KellyAnne Conway was conducted for the Paul Broun Campaign.  The results are as follows:

Gingrey  19

Handel  14

Broun   13

Kingston  11

Perdue  8

Supporters of Derrick Grayson will note that he was not included and is therefore receiving the remaining 35%.  Normal people will determine that roughly one third of Georgians remain undecided with less than 90 days before early voting begins.

“Professional” opinion:  This race is wide open.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Bearse February 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

Why the quotation marks around Professional? You qualify as a pro.

2g Strategies (@2gstrategies) February 4, 2014 at 9:39 am

From @peachpundit Gingrey, Handel, Broun Top Citizens United GA Senate Poll http://t.co/crFkdux0Mt

Tim Darnell (@TimDarnellATL) February 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

Georgia US Senate race wide open. http://t.co/NRufgPcazm #gapol #Senate #republicans @Senate_GOPs @SaxbyChambliss

@bsaparow February 4, 2014 at 10:15 am

Phil on top of the @Citizens_United GA U.S. Senate Poll!
http://t.co/D5nsqzPyNl

Chris Huttman February 4, 2014 at 10:22 am

Name ID but also I wouldn’t count Gingrey out.

xdog February 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

I wonder if Gingrey’s age will become an issue. He’s older than Chambliss now, 5 years older than Broun. He’s older than Sonny Perdue. At the least he needs a better dye job.

Chris Huttman February 4, 2014 at 11:03 am

Well he already promised a one term limit since he will leave if Obamacare isn’t repealed (and it won’t be). Also the Senate is so dysfunctional right now led largely by the Republican members that I’m not sure seniority means what it used to for GOP members.

Jon Lester February 4, 2014 at 11:24 am

We’re all anxious to see new polls, even if we’re skeptical of what we get at this point.

I don’t think this counts all the Democrats who plan to ask for Republican ballots in the primary, itself an unknown quantity (although I’d love if enough of them do that so Dr. Rad can pull an upset).

northside101 February 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm

The argument for Gingrey behind ahead could be based on the fact that he hails from Cobb (which normally is the largest voting county in a GOP primary in this state—if not first, then second to Gwinnett), and he also has vote-rich Cherokee County in his district. Also, though not as big as Cherokee, Bartow County has its share of GOP voters, as does Paulding, which Gingrey had prior to 2011 redistricting. He also should be a fairly familiar figure to voters in west central Georgia—like Troup County (LaGrange), Columbus area, Carroll County—that he represented for the first few years after his initial (2002) election to Congress. He may also have some strength in the Augusta area, where he went to high school (Aquinas) and later to the Medical College down there. And he’ll have some money to spend too, being second only to Kingston in cash on hand.

Kingston probably wins below the Gnat Line, but 60 percent or more of the GOP primary vote is likely to be cast north of Interstate 20. Thus, the heavy media buy Kingston has made ($1 million+) to reach the vote-rich Atlanta area, none of which he has ever represented in his 21 years in the US House (the closest he has ever represented to the Atlanta area was parts of Houston County in the 2002 and 2004 election cycles).

Broun should be pretty well known in the Athens area, and in parts of Northeast Georgia that he represented prior to 2011 redistricting. Question for him would be how to win a runoff in which it is not likely that the majority of runoff voters will be conservative/fundamentalist Christians. The GOP primary electorate in Georgia is viewed as conservative, but not far right (certainly not in places like Buckhead, Sandy Springs, East Cobb and Dunwoody). Recall in 1988, TV evangelist Pat Robertson fared poorly in Georgia’s presidential primary—16 percent—far behind “establishment” candidates Bush Senior and Bob Dole. Four years later, Pat Buchanan launched his “cultural jihad” and still lost by almost 2-1 to the first President Bush in that year’s presidential primary. Buchanan lost again in the 1996 presidential primary, and later that year, Clint Day, backed by many Christian conservatives, came in a distant third to Millner and Isakson in that year’s Senate primary (to replace Sam Nunn). In 2004, Isakson—hardly the darling of the Religious Right—was accused by Herman Cain and Mac Collins of being too liberal (Isakson was viewed as the “liberal” candidate because for one he would not ban abortions in cases of rape and incest, unlike Cain and Collins). In 2012, Rick Santorum, the modern day cultural warrior (maybe a better candidate for Pope than President), finished a distant third to Gingrich and Romney in our presidential primary.

As for Handel, certainly she would hope to be polling better than 14 percent. But even though it has only been about 4 years since her runoff loss to Deal, name ID can fade fairly quickly once out of office for a few years, especially when you consider the number of registered voters who move into Georgia, move out, or just plain old die every year. And given her latest cash on hand (trailing Kingston 10-1 in that category), she doesn’t at this time have the money to go on network television to remind voters of her record.

Would be interesting to see which campaigns have been polling—I suspect though if the results were good (in their view), they would be first to the media to release them, much as Kingston was with his year-end campaign disclosure report.

Chris Huttman February 4, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Good analysis. Just because a crazy person hasn’t won yet doesn’t mean they can’t in the future though.

Tiberius February 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Northside, you forgot Floyd (Rome) for a county of strength for Gingrey. When I worked there back in 2004, Gingrey represented it until that wild Democratic map and Gingrey spent a lot of time and money to squeeze every vote in Floyd. The wide margin in Floyd saved Gingrey on more than one occasion.

xdog February 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Looking at the topline data per Galloway, I’m struck by how many respondents haven’t heard of the candidates–Gingrey 34 percent, Broun 45, Handel 35, Kingston 49, Perdue 41. Really? Almost half of those polled have never heard of Broun. Those numbers make me wonder just who they were asking or where those polled have been.

You pros tell me, are those encouraging numbers for an election that’s barely 3 months out?

Tiberius February 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Xdog, the high “never heard of” should serve as a reminder to those of us in the activist class that the vast, vast majority of voters aren’t paying any attention. I would say 3/4 of voters aren’t paying attn yet. We need to remind ourselves of this when we attend breakfasts, listen to the same speakers ad nauseum (forgive spelling) and get giddy over daily developments. It should also be encouraging to those 2 or 3 candidates who can buy a significant TV buy when Spring Break ends and people start paying attn.

xdog February 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm

I take your point but presumably the poll included non-activists as well.

northside101 February 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Tiberius has good point about few voters paying attention in the bleak month of February—probably have to see the TV ads start appearing before voters get in the mind of picking a candidate. As for leaving out Floyd (in areas Gingrey represented), I only included a partial count in previous entry of what he represented—though for sure, he was not happy about giving up Floyd County in redistricting because of the doctors.

One thing I should have added about Cobb—though it is Gingrey’s home base, he has never been tested in East Cobb, which by all accounts is more moderate than his northwest Cobb base. East Cobb backed the lottery in 1992, went for Isakson in the Senate GOP runoff in 1996 when he was pro-choice (on abortion), and most of the Cobb precincts which backed Romney over Gingrich in the 2012 presidential primary were in that part of the county. Gingrey also represented much of south Cobb between 2003-2007 because of the wild 2001-2002 gerrymandering at the Gold Dome engineered by Roy Barnes, but south Cobb even back then was trending Democratic, and thus is not much of a base for Gingrey these days. Another thing about Cobb—having a base there is not a guarantee of victory in a GOP statewide primary. Bob Barr won Cobb in the 1992 GOP Senate runoff with Paul Coverdell, but Coverdell still eked out a victory. In 1996, Isakson handily won Cobb against Guy Millner in the GOP Senate runoff, but Millner won statewide thanks to strength outside metro Atlanta. In 2002, Bill Byrne won Cobb in the GOP primary for governor but little else and finished far behind Perdue and Linda Schrenko.

NorthGAGOP February 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Gingery = Oxendine

Noway February 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I wonder if “doctor” Broun would have polled higher if he’d have said that there Kelly Anne Conway lady was from the “pits of hailllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!”