Deal, Perdue Lead in New 11 Alive Poll

March 20, 2014 7:30 am

by Jon Richards · 12 comments

Exactly two months before Primary voters cast their ballots in May, 11 Alive released a new poll of potential Primary voters. Among the highlights: Governor Deal leads challenger David Pennington, 65-11%, with 7% for John Barge and 17% Undecided.

In the GOP Primary for U.S. Senate, David Perdue opens up a lead outside the margin of error over his challengers, with 29% of the vote. He is followed by Jack Kingston with 19%, Phil Gingrey with 12%, Paul Broun with 11% and Karen Handel with 10%.

In addition to the two high-profile GOP races, the poll covers Republican and Democratic primary races for other statewide offices. It also measures Georgians’ opinions on issues, including Obamacare, marijuana legalization, and more.

These results appear to be a bit more rational than some of the other polls we’ve seen recently. One would expect the sitting governor to poll ahead of challengers, and Perdue and Kingston are the only two Senate candidates who have been on radio and TV to date.

Will these end up being the results in May? Tell us in the comments.

:: Update :: Crosstabs here.

saltycracker March 20, 2014 at 7:42 am

A poll that makes sense rather than sensation.

The Last Democrat in Georgia March 20, 2014 at 8:49 am

Like the poll indicates, Governor Deal will totally annihilate his “challengers” in the GOP primary of the Governor’s race.

Though, the outcome of the GOP primary of the U.S. Senate race remains much tougher to predict at this point, it appears that the business community is motivated to intervene in that race (by financially backing a more emotionally-stable and less mistake-prone candidate like David Perdue) to attempt to ensure that Saxby Chambliss’ U.S. Senate seat stays in Republican hands.

xdog March 20, 2014 at 9:39 am

The cross-tabs show solid majorities in favor of accepting federal money to expand Medicaid participation. Cast as support for rural healthcare providers, that could be a solid issue for donks.

Interesting that the poll’s regional groupings are Atlanta, Northwest GA, and South & East. I’d like to see something a little more granular.

Kingston seriously needs to boost his Atlanta numbers. And when does Karen Handel’s ‘name-recognition throughout the state’ start to pay off?

KD_fiscal conservative March 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

I still think Kingston will be the nominee. He’s a very likable guy and certainly passes the “who would you want to drink a beer with” test. That’ll help him with the ‘retail politics’ side of things.
He’s also the best fundraiser of the bunch, which means aggressive pro-Kingston media campaign, and plenty of money left to destroy any candidate that gets in his way. Since he’s been a ‘go along to get along’ type of legislator, his opponents will call him the m word, but any decent consultant can spin that to make the case “he’s the most electable.”

The smart money is going to Kingston.

BuddyFreeze March 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm

It’s a random digit dial poll, instead of a poll of past GOP primary voters screened for probability of voting. Undecided seems way too low too. All this poll reflects is that David Perdue and Jack Kingston are spending a ton of money on advertising. For all we know, a sizeable sample of registered voters in this poll may think Kingston and Perdue are the only two running in the race.

Doctor Strangelove March 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm

This is literally the stupidest poll I have ever seen, and should be taken about as seriously as Eugene Yu’s former candidacy for Senate.

Doctor Strangelove March 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Allow me to be more clear:

1) I will not take your poll seriously if you are unable to identify the candidates correctly. Dr. Rad’s first name is not “Rod.” Ms. Wilson’s first name is spelled “Valarie,” not “Valerie.”

2) Two people who barely campaign- Miles and Robinson- are beating Dr. Rad, who is at least on the trail, and yet Michelle Nunn, who will likely get over 75% of the vote, doesn’t crack 50%. Furthermore, in what world is Nunn tied with Robinson in the 18-34 voter range?

3) Finally, the methodology is insane.

northside101 March 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I find this poll hard to believe—David Perdue, who has never run for anything before, who lives in a part of the state (south of the Gnat Line) that has relatively few GOP primary voters, and has only recently started a media campaign, has three times the percentage support Karen Handel does? Wonder how many people think it is “Sonny” Perdue?!? And like others have mentioned, only 15 percent undecided with two months to go?!?

Primary polling can be notoriously inaccurate, as turnout in a primary is always much smaller than in a general election. No one wants to say they won’t vote in the primary, as that sounds like a dereliction of duty.

But I would agree that Perdue could pose problems for both Handel and Kingston, in terms of either making a runoff. Perdue could cut into Kingston’s base in Glynn County (Brunswick), one of the top GOP counties below Macon, and I suspect at least some of the Sonny Perdue crowd who backed Handel in 2010 are backing David this time. Perdue sounds more associated with the business wing of the party, so not likely he would make much of a dent into, say, the Paul Broun campaign.

Interesting that not one of the Senate campaigns has released any polling data to the public—which suggests to me the primary contest remains wide open with 63 days til the contest (or even sooner if you count early voting). At the same time, I’m not sure polls would have much credibility til we get closer to May 20.

As for Kingston, yes he needs a decent showing in the Atlanta area, but if he wins a large chunk of south Georgia, that lessens the number of votes he needs in Atlanta area to make a runoff spot. Could come down to small differences between first, second and third in this contest.

Bull Moose March 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Interesting. I’m surprised Deal is not holding onto a stronger lead. I’d think he’d need to be at over 70-75% against two underfunded candidates.

Watching the R Senate race is interesting. I think some candidates played their cards wrong early on in this race by overestimating the extreme conservative base of the GOP. The extreme right really is likely to be less than 20% of the GOP and that’s evident by primary voters preference for Perdue and Kingston.

I think this race is in play for November, but all that changes if Michelle Nunn can’t win Democratic nomination without a run-off.

I feel like Georgians are not likely to elect a rhetorical politician to the US Senate. It would go against the grain of the nature of our state. Georgia has a history of electing people who know how to work hard and get things done to the US Senate. Honestly, the only exception to that, and to a degree it’s debatable on both sides, is the election of Max Cleland and Saxby Chambliss.

I’m more interested in the Governor’s race and the real hope that we have that Jason Carter can beat the current occupant.

The Last Democrat in Georgia March 21, 2014 at 11:53 pm

“I’m more interested in the Governor’s race and the real hope that we have that Jason Carter can beat the current occupant.”

…In a year like this where conservative voters are likely going to turnout in very-robust numbers to vote against Democrats, it’s going to take a heck of a lot of hope, prayer, and tons of luck for a Democratic challenger like Jason Carter to beat a heavily-funded Republican incumbent governor like Nathan Deal in a state where the political environment is extremely toxic for Democrats.

Georgia Democrats obviously have the best chance they’ve had in years to move off of rock-bottom and make meaningful progress in 2014.

But getting to 50% in a statewide race may still likely be a bit much for Georgia Democrats to ask at this point in time.

Though there’s no denying that things look much, much better than they did just a year ago at this time when Georgia Democrats were literally being threatened with having all of the utilities turned-off at their state headquarters.

Dr. Monica Henson March 22, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Georgia Democrats should have listened to Kasim Reed’s advice regarding the Governor’s race. Although I disagree with Nathan Deal’s position on Obamacare/Medicaid, he has been very good for the state of Georgia with regard to many other issues, such as job creation, juvenile justice reform, and public education P-16. Every time I get a delusional Georgia Democrats email message, I hit “delete” without even reading it anymore. And I say that as a registered Democrat.

The Last Democrat in Georgia March 22, 2014 at 10:18 pm

“Every time I get a delusional Georgia Democrats email message, I hit “delete” without even reading it anymore. And I say that as a registered Democrat.”

…Ouch!

Dr. Henson, first let me just say that I admire your bravery and respect you and anyone else who has the guts to openly admit that they are a registered Democrat in the current political, social and cultural environment in the state of Georgia that is highly-toxic (and even in many cases radioactive) to Democrats.

As we are all keenly aware, admitting to being a Democrat in Georgia these days is akin to admitting to being a devil-worshipping anti-Christian, anti-American commie pinko Islamafacist traitor who supports Al-Qadea and cheers for the downfall of the U.S.A. and Western Civilization.

Seeing as though Democrats are so poorly-regarded on the statewide political scene, Georgia Democrats are absolutely doing the right thing by fielding one of their young rising stars as a candidate in the Governor’s race.

Georgia Democrats absolutely need to get their young stars like Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn experience in competing in an extremely-hostile statewide political environment. Georgia Democrats also need to practice building their organization and building a ground game so that they will be in a good position to take advantage of the state’s changing demographics which are rapidly-changing in their favor.

If Georgia Democrats had taken Kasim Reed’s advice of not challenging Nathan Deal in the general election, they would only be making things even that much worse for themselves then they already are (…which Reed has his own selfish delusions of grandeur in thinking that he as an unmarried liberal black Mayor of Atlanta actually has a legitimate shot at getting elected Governor in a state dominated by super-conservative white voters who hate him and his city with a burning passion).

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