A survey conducted by my own firm in conjunction with pollster Fred Hicks revealed some interesting information about the GOP base. We wanted to measure the depth of the opposition to the Common Core standards, so we only queried people who had previously voted in at least two GOP primaries, we excluded anyone who had voted in a Democratic primary, and we asked a qualifying question about their intent to vote in the Republican primary. This triple-filtered group of respondents provided some real insight into just how riled up the base of the GOP is.
In addition to the questions about Common Core, we asked this group about their preferences in the GOP primary for US Senate, and about a potential head-to-head matchup in a general election between Governor Nathan Deal and State Senator Jason Carter.
What did we find? 42% of Republican primary voters opposed Common Core, and 77% of that group would actually be willing to pay more in taxes to abandon the standards. That’s not just a division in the party, that’s a crack in its very foundation.
Another surprising result? Nearly 8% of these voters would vote for Senator Carter over Governor Deal -roughly double what you would expect from this group at this stage.
“Based on the results from the last Governor’s race, Carter would need to switch 9.5% of Deal’s 2010 voters to to his side in order to win,” said Hicks. “While that seemed like a remote possibility at the time of Senator Carter’s announcement, these results make this race one to watch.”
Coincidentally, Professor Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, downgraded Georgia’s Governor’s race from “Safe” Republican to “Likely Republican.”
Full release and a link to the toplines below the fold. For Immediate Release: February 19, 2014
The Hicks Evaluation Group (HEG), Fredrick Hicks, email@example.com
Apache Political Communications, Michael Hassinger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia Poll Reveals Opposition to Common Core, Vulnerability For Governor Deal
Common Core Opponents Willing To Pay More Taxes To Drop Standards
Jason Carter Pulling Support Directly From GOP Base
(Atlanta)— A survey of the most likely Republican voters in Georgia showed hard opposition to the Common Core standards and a small but surprising amount of support for Governor Nathan Deal’s likely opponent in the General Election, State Senator Jason Carter, D-Decatur.
“These respondents were selected only if they voted in Republican Primary elections before, and if they said they planned to vote in the upcoming primary,” said pollster and President of HEG, Fred Hicks. “When asked, nearly 8% of these Republican voters said they would vote for Jason Carter in the general election. If this is not merely an expression of anti-Deal sentiment, and Jason Carter is actually turning the Republican base away from an incumbent Republican Governor, then the November election could be much closer than previously expected.”
“Based on the results from the last Governor’s race, Carter needs to switch 9.5% of Deal’s 2010 voters to his side in order to win,” said Hicks. “While that seemed like a remote possibility at the time of Senator Carter’s announcement, these results make this race one to watch.”
The survey also found that 42% of Republican voters oppose the Common Core educational standards, and that a significant majority of Common Core opponents would be willing to pay more taxes if that’s what it took to abandon Common Core.
“Opposition to taxes is a given for Republicans,” said Mike Hassinger of Apache Political Communications. “But 77% of the group that wants to abandon Common Core says they would be willing to pay more taxes to do so, which indicates entrenched, hardened opposition to the issue. Nobody’s ever going to change those people’s minds, and anyone who wants to rebuild public support for Common Core should focus on the 30% of Republican voters who support it and the 27% who are undecided about it.”
The survey also measured Republican sentiment on educational spending in general, as well as support for candidates in the Republican Primary for US Senate.
The survey was conducted jointly by the Hicks Evaluation Group (HEG) and Apache Political Communications. HEG was recently cited in Politico and other outlets for its survey research on transportation funding after the snow storm. Mike Hassinger of Apache was recently cited for his interview with former Governor Sonny Perdue regarding Common Core.
Topline results available in pdf at this link.