Carter leads Deal 48-41 in Rasmussen Poll

Nathan Deal said last week that Jason Carter’s greatest strength was his grandfather. It may actually be that he isn’t Nathan Deal.

Fresh off consolidating his Republican support, you’d think Nathan Deal would be leading a Rasmussen poll right after the election. Rasmussen polls are widely thought to have a Republican lean, there have been no significant media buys pointing out problems with the Deal administration, and even in this poll, Jason Carter still has around 18% who don’t know him at all. And yet Carter leads 48% to 41%. Let’s look a little deeper…

Is this the year the independent comes back to bite the Republican incumbent? It certainly seems so from the cross-tabs. Independent voters tend to rate “Ethics/Corruption” as a higher priority than members of either party. On that scale, Carter holds a 10 point lead on Deal. That may be at the heart of the top line poll number. Additionally, Carter’s favorability spread (Very Favorable – Very Unfavorable) is +12%. Deal’s is -5%. Although Deal is trusted more in this survey on many grounds (taxes, government spending) the margin isn’t very high and it seems that people just don’t like Deal that much. Carter is getting 18% of Republican voters and 36% of White voters. Should those numbers hold, we’ll likely have a new Governor come January.




  1. John Konop says:

    I think Deal still wins..l.But this does show the crack in the GOP strong hold over Georgia….The GOP needs to focus on basic stuff the average joe feels….

    1) Transporaion/ infastructure most have a real regional plan ASAP…..getting to and from work is a reality we all feel….this local control answer is BS…..makes no logical sense…

    2) Education needs to lower administrative over head, lower needless end of year testing cost and the focus should be work skilled ready graduates and or higher eduction prepared. Quality goes up and money savings can move to the classroom/teachers verse testing companies and management

    3) The party needs to the focus on individual freedom, over war on drugs, war on gays, culture war….

    Obviously we have other issues…..but the tone of the conversation must change….People want jobs, schools and Transporaion……and freedom to do what they want within reason on thier own property….

    • Harry says:

      3a) Nobody wants a war on gays. We just don’t support governmental recognition of homosexual marriage etc.

      4) The GOP needs to cut the chamber of commerce and special interest money connection. Sure, money is important but this obvious pay for play is not helping them with their base.

      • c_murrayiii says:

        Its not the base that is gonna cost the GOP the governor’s mansion, its the middle of the road voters that are turned off by the right-wing drift of the GOP, and by the Tea Party in general. Even if folks like you think the GOP ignores the you, by adopting some of your talking points, they scare off sensible folks. Just the reality.

          • John Konop says:

            You may have deferent definitions on a personal level….but the numbers are the numbers..,the trend is clear….the problem is most of us have friends and family now who are married interracially and or know gay people….The nasty talking points are just alienating more people every year….

    • Scott65 says:

      There is another little nugget that will bring Deal down. Rural hospital closures which are set to accelerate. This is directly because he refuses to take the Medicaid expansion money (that btw we are paying for anyway regardless). The ACA cuts payments for indigent care because medicaid was supposed to make up the difference. So without the income and a growing indigent population in emergency rooms…rural hospitals cant survive, and Deal knows it. Thats why he is pushing this ludicrous “emergency care only” fiasco that will probably cost more than if he just took the darn expansion. Lets also acknowledge that hospitals are some of the biggest employers in rural areas so a hospital closure is a BFD. If I was Carter I would be hitting Deal as hard as I could on medicaid…Deal is such a weasel…and everyone pretty much knows that

      • Bobloblaw says:

        States that expand medicaid will face huge budget shortfalls and much higher taxes.

  2. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    It is certainly entirely too early in the general election race to read anything significant into this polling.

    But some factors might potentially be hurting Governor Deal at this point are:

    > The public perception that he and the Georgia GOP has major problems with ethics…

    > That Governor Deal’s public persona can be kind of too quiet and too understated at key times (some of Deal’s early campaign commercials seem to have been too business-like…which likely would not be a problem if Deal was running against an inferior challenger, but with a much-younger and energetic opponent like Jason Carter who comes across as passionate and highly-active, Deal’s kind of quiet and understated public persona could potentially be a problem for him)…

    > The severe austerity cuts to public education that have taken place during the GOP’s reign over Georgia politics (austerity cuts that started before the economic downturn and worsened during it due to a severe lack of funds)…

    > The severe January 2014 winter storm (Snow Jam 2014) which severely-depressed Governor Deal’s poll numbers and reminded voters of the Georgia GOP’s past Herculean struggles with transportation management and the Georgia GOP’s continuing present Herculean struggles with simple day-to-day governing (…where it not for the winter storm and the state’s highly-flawed response to it, Governor Deal would likely currently be several points ahead of Carter in the polls and all of the other opportunistic issues would be much less of a factor in the race)…

    > The continued fracturing of the Georgia GOP coalition amongst some key constituencies including Independent voters (who often vote Republican but have issues with the GOP), moderate female voters (many of whom seem to highly-attracted to Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn just because she’s a female), Conservative Libertarians and TEA Party factions (both of whom the Georgia GOP is trying to suppress and take away control of the party from), and Social Conservatives (whom often just feel outright ignored and neglected during a time of continuing dramatic societal change) and even Second Amendment advocates (who liked the Second Amendment rights expansion bill that Governor Deal signed into law last month but don’t think that the bill went far enough).

    • Dave Bearse says:

      The GOP has the problem of Social Conservatives and gun nuts (guns in bars crosses the line to nuts) thinking they’re outright neglected and ignored unless there’s significant new abortion restrictions and lessening of gun restrictions every year, at a time when current positions lack majority approval. (Not sure how much that can hurt on abortion, since it will remain safe and available for the middle class and rich.)

    • Jon Richards says:


      Thanks again for your opinion on the effects of the winter snowstorm, the fracturing of the GOP and the attractiveness of Jason Carter and/or Michelle Nunn to many in the Georgia electorate.

      You have managed to make these points repeatedly over the last few weeks.

      And that’s been noticed by the front page posters, who are concerned you may not remember this post from a little over a year ago.

      We haven’t been as aggressive as we might have been in following up on the rules Charlie made in the post, but that doesn’t mean that the rules no longer apply. Consider this a little reminder, because self-policing is a far better option than the alternative.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        Mr. Richards, thanks for the very-constructive input as I do appreciate the reminder ahead of time. I will most-certainly take that very-constructive input into account moving forward as I strongly-encourage anyone who has a problem with the content of my comments to bring any issues that they may have with my comments to my attention in a timely manner by responding directly to such comments here on the blog.

    • Howard Roark says:

      > The severe austerity cuts to public education that have taken place during the GOP’s reign over Georgia politics (austerity cuts that started before the economic downturn and worsened during it due to a severe lack of funds)…

      Every teacher in the state knows about the cuts that happened before the economy turned do own.

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    It’s still clearly Deal’s to lose. Two more trials between now and November is likely to keep ethics in the news, and trial prospects don’t appear good given the state just wrote checks to Kalberman and her attorneys totaling $1.1M .

    Trial reporting keeps up churn on the original issues too. It’s ancient history, but there’s a similar employment angle in that Deal promptly canned Georgia Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham for Graham watching out for taxpayer’s interests, and Graham saying plainly that he thought Deal had used his connections and Congressional office to protect personal interests (in contrast to Graham not losing his job for exposing, when questioned, Larry O’Neal’s tax legislation that gifted Perdue $100,000).

    Wonder if there’s a means to settle before the election, but keep the payment amount under wraps until afterwards?

  4. WeymanCWannamakerJr says:

    We still have 5+ months of politicking to go here, almost an eternity in politics. I really am surprised that the spread is that high though even if I did point out to you guys that the Governor’s ethical issues seem to be the elephant in the room here.
    I’m enjoying another poll I read about recently showing that 85% of us think that the other voters are stupid.

    • John Konop says:

      In all due respect I do not think the average family and friends are talking about ethical issues among the BBQ….If issues come up it is about thier drive to work, jobs, health issues, schools , ,cost of college… usually comes down to bread and butter….

      • Baker says:

        I don’t know John. I think a lot of it is about ethics. Deal was able to sidestep all that before getting elected the first time but it’s all catching up to him now and the whole Ethics Commission thing I think really was big news for a time.

        It does come down to bread and butter…and I don’t think Deal is doing anything on that either…throwing a sop to gun people and some nothing of tax reform won’t automatically get you reelected. I still think the bottom line is the ethics issue though.

      • Scott65 says:

        In rural Georgia they are talking about hospital closures…and that hits all the things you just mentioned. It also goes back to the Medicaid refusal. Why do you think all these red state govs are taking the money??? Plus shirking responsibility to the legislature was seen as purely political…he will still be blamed.

  5. jiminga says:

    Rasmussen says Michele Nunn is leading the Senate race too. I wonder what the poll would say if Mr. Rasmussen still owned the polling firm?

    The May 20 poll (real votes) show Nunn garnered 95,000 fewer votes than Perdue and Kingston combined, not counting the other candidates. Sort of suggests Rasmussen has fallen from importance and needs to reveal its new slant.

    • David C says:

      In an open primary state and only one primary is actually competitive, you’re going to get far greater turnout in the competitive race because independents will vote in the primary that matters, and in this case Democrats won’t make the extra effort to get out and vote in essentially a one candidate race. In 2004 Democrats outnumbered Republicans big time in Presidential primary turnout: 626,738 to 161,374. Kerry got nearly twice as many votes as Bush in the Georgia primaries–and still lost by nearly 20 points in the fall.

  6. therightdirection says:

    Rasmussen hasn’t had a GOP tilt since Mr. Rasmussen moved on. If anything I’ve noticed a Dem tilt, and this is another trend point.

  7. Bobloblaw says:

    Rasmussen in the only polling company that shows Obama with a net positive approval rating. It is also the only polling company that shows large swings in Obama’s approval rating. In a 10 day period Rasmussen will show swings going from 46-54 disapproval to 50-48 approval. This will occur with no news either positive or negative for Obama.

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