WSB Poll has Nunn up big on Perdue, Carter over Deal

In what was a surprise to some observers, a new poll from Landmark for WSB shows Michelle Nunn opening up a big lead on David Perdue.

Nunn received 47 percent of the vote and Perdue received 40 percent. Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford received 3 percent and 10 percent of respondents remain undecided.

Jason Carter also leads Nathan Deal by 4 in the same poll. Cross-tabs were not immediately available, but we will update the post once they are. And if they aren’t we’ll just speculate this poll has the African-American vote at 28%.


  1. NorthGAGOP says:

    Without the cross tabs, there is no way of knowing how this poll was weighted. There have been issues with the weighting in some of the other polls.

  2. John Konop says:

    Not buying Nunn is up by 7…..Not buying Perdue is up by 9 in the other poll….

    A few factors:

    Do not think Swafford gets 3 points….that votes breaks to Perdue..

    Undecided will break for Perue as well…

    Taking into consideration the above that lowers Nunn to about a 4 to 5 point advantage in this poll. If you combine the 2 polls that puts Perdue ahead by 4 to 6 points….which is the trend….

    • Actually, even going back to 1992, when Paul Coverdell got elected to the US Senate in a runoff election, Libertarians carried 3 percent of the vote. That is normal in Georgia elections. This year does not seem to be shaping up any differently.

      And unless things change, may very well create runoff elections for us to deal with this winter.

      Undecideds may or may not break for Perdue. But according to every poll out there that I’ve seen, most voters who state that they are undecided in Georgia right now also respond that they are racially black. So you tell me….do they go for Perdue?

      InsiderAdvantage: “Nearly 35% of African-American voters say they are voting for Deal or are undecided.”
      CBS/NYTimes says black voters are more undecided by almost 2-1
      Rasmussen: Says it’s a 1 point Deal lead, but doesn’t release it’s black turnout percentage unless you pay to subscribe. I love Rasmussen myself, but I can’t comment on whether they say blacks or whites are more likely to be undecided.
      Hicks: 17% of blacks are undecided, 8% of whites
      PPP: 18% of blacks are undecided, 12% of whites.

      Based on this, who do you really think the undecideds going to break for?

  3. NorthGAGOP: you are exactly correct. I appreciate and agree with people who are calling for polling firms to start releasing their weighting and cross tabs.

    I just sent Stephan the cross tabs. Channel 2 has them, and I’ll get them posted to our website later today at

    I realize that other polling firms have different numbers. It’s a blend of science and art, so to speak, and because of that and you can have very good people come up with different numbers.

    However, this is where we all differ (so far): the Landmark polls correctly gauge African American turnout at what it will likely be, based on demographic trends in Georgia and based on election turnout over the last three election cycles.

    During 2008, 2010 and 2012, black voters made up 28-30% of the total electorate in Georgia (depending on the election year), and black voters vote for Democratic candidates by approximately a 95-5% margin.

    The Landmark polls are based on black voters being about 29% of the electorate, which we view as correct again for 2014.

    The other polling firms have a much smaller weighting for black voters (SurveyUSA has them at 26% of the electorate, Insider Advantage has them at 24% of the electorate, PPP last year had them at 24%, etc. etc.). That is a major reason for the difference.

    SurveyUSA (quoted in the silly Republican Party press release today questioning our poll’s accuracy) also set the male vote at 52% of the vote. That hasn’t happened in modern times. Females actually make up 52-54% of a general election in Georgia and are cutting heavily for Democrats in 2014.

    I respect these other firms. Some of them very much, in fact. I read their polls almost daily. But the reality is that I disagree with how they are weighting Georgia voters at this stage of the election.

    • Great point on the male/female split. There are half a million more females registered in Georgia than males. Just from the pool of available voters it is 55% female. For black voters alone, it’s a 3:2 ratio. Because black female voters are actually one of the most reliable turnout groups, their numerical advantage over black males makes it nearly impossible that Georgia’s general electorate could even be split 50/50 male/female.

      • Bill Dawers says:

        Mark and Chris, thanks for the details regarding likely turnout.

        Here in southeast Georgia, I think Democratic candidates will be in a much better position to drive turnout than Republican candidates. The vast majority of Republican voters down here didn’t vote for Perdue in either the primary or the runoff; unless Kingston hits the stump on Perdue’s behalf (doubtful, huh?), can Perdue get those voters to the polls for him in Nov. with only a few major ad buys? And how will the dynamic change if/when Sam Nunn hits the trail?

        Gov. Deal has a lot of conservative support in the immediate Savannah area, but I’m less certain about some of the less populous areas of south and middle Georgia, where dozens of counties had unadjusted unemployment rates over 10% in July.

        • Engineer says:

          I have to agree with you there. Nunn has been campaigning heavily in southern Georgia (In fact, she was touring a block of downtown Jesup that burned down recently. ). She is definitely making a push to court the southern Georgia voters that Perdue has so far made very little effort to do so. It also seems there are a lot of hurt feelings from the negative ads that Perdue did against Kingston (whom a lot of folks in SE Georgia respect and like quite a bit). Whether or not Nunn can capitalize on those hurt feelings, I honestly can’t say, but it’ll be interesting to watch, none-the-less.

    • One further point for everyone to consider and it’s more of a thought exercise than a critique of any one poll. In 2010, at the height of the anti-Obama Republican resurgence, Sam Olens beat Ken Hodges 53-44. I choose this election because both candidates and their allies ran real campaigns, had TV ads, and had approximately similar amounts spent on them. Neither candidate was/is well known outside of their home bases (Olens Cobb, Hodges Albany DMA).

      The electorate that year was 28% black, 5% other/unknown, 67% white. You probably had the Olens/Hodges split at about 3-95 for the black vote, 40-58 for the other vote and 75-21 for the white vote. That adds up to their vote total.

      Now here’s the thought experiment. Since 2010’s general election, white registration has gone down by over 150,000. Non-white registration has gone up by nearly 180,000 with about 40,000 of that black voters. It’s very reasonable to think that turnout this year will be something like 29% black, 6% other/unknown, 65% white (and that’s really at best for Republicans). If you reran the 2010 election, Hodges is up a little more than a point, Olens is down about the same. What was a 9 point victory is now a 7 point victory.

      Seeing as even polls that have shown Nunn and Carter down (like the Survey USA poll Mark mentions that has a lot of issues) have shown them getting about 25% of the white vote, if you were to bump Hodges up to 25% of the white vote the new election tally would be Hodges 47-Olens 49.

      So there you go. The idea that 2014’s election in Georgia is going to be somehow be more Republican both in composition of the electorate or in the mood of white voters than 2010’s election is almost impossible to believe if you’re capable of thinking rationally.

      • Bobloblaw says:

        Then why are all other polls saying the opposite? We have one poll in the last 5 saying Nunn and Carter are not only up, but up big. Perdue has a consistent 5-7 point lead over Nunn in all polling. Then along comes this one. Here is what you have to believe. That WSB and Landmark are the only ones who know how to properly poll GA. Everyone else doesnt. GA is somehow so different not only from every other state but from every southern state as well. So odd is GA, that no one can poll it correctly. Except for Landmark.

        Ocams Razor: 5% of polling will be off and flawed. This is the one.

        • Bobloblaw says:

          Of course Landmark could be catching a trend that has just developed. But what would justify such a large and immediate swing?

            • Bobloblaw says:

              Because GA is the only state with minorities? Or these other pollsters only poll Iowa? A 3-5 point difference in minority turnout rate doesn’t explain Perdue being up in the mid single digits to being down in the upper single digits. It would mean the difference between Perdue being up 5 and up 1. Not down 7.

              Polls are occasionally simply wrong. For what it’s worth I am skeptical that Scott Brown is suddenly tied with Jean Shaheen in NH.

              Getting caught up in polling demographics is what conservatives did in 2012. They went so far as to create a site called Unskwed Polls where it was claimed all the polls showing Obama with a small but consistent lead were wrong. Well turns out those polls were right. The final RCP average is who will win the election.

              • John Konop says:

                Your logic was mine….but Mark made some valid points in his response…..he is a smart guy…my sense has been Perdue up by 4 to 6 points as I have posted numerous times….but Mark made solid points…..btw I have also said the guys running Perdue campaign did an excellent job….the key is can they adjust to a general campaign strategy….

              • Because unlike conservatives in 2012, Democratic pollsters who poll states with large black populations (which let’s be honest haven’t typically been swing states so they don’t get polled by the media a lot) have for 30+ seen the phenomenon of black voters not telling pollsters that they will support the Democratic candidates at the level they eventually do. Obama and occasionally a Roy Barnes figure is the exception. When you have a voting bloc that makes up 30% of the votes that one candidate will eventually get 90%+ of the vote and they are currently getting somewhere between 60-70% of the vote, that can equal anywhere from 6-9% more added to that candidate’s tally. When you also show, like Survey USA does, that the Republican is getting 16-17% (which would basically be a record for modern times) that might be adding anywhere from 2-3% to that candidate’s tally that they aren’t getting.

                So – in most of these polls, the white voters are relatively decided, and the Democrat may be (best case scenario for Republicans) 8 net points underrepresented and (worst case) 12 points, a 7 point lead could really be a 1 point deficit and a 7 point lead could even be a 5 point deficit.

                So I look at Survey USA for example and having been in this business and seen polls consistently show black voters underperforming and consistently seeing them overperform on election day, I know how to make the adjustment. It’s not unskewed polls. It’s the same reason some crappy media poll always begets one of those “is this the year black voters vote for Republicans” feature stories.

                Big difference, IMO between unskewed polls and experience with southern democratic polling.

                • Bobloblaw says:

                  Outside of presidential races, the GOP does often get more than 5-10% of the black vote. 15-25% isn’t unusual in the south. Trent Lott use to get 35% and I’ll bet Thad Cochran gets that too. You’re putting far too much emphasis on the minority vote. If Nunn and Carter win it will be because they got a better white percent. Not due to extraordinary minority turnout. But I find it amazing you ignore every poll but the one poll that shows your team ahead. And not by a little. That is what makes me suspicious of this poll. It isn’t as though the others have Deal and Predue up 2-3 and this one has Nunn Carter up 1-2. There is a 10+ point difference between 4 recent polls on one hand and this one. I’ll bet this one is wrong.

                  • Bull Moose says:

                    Bob, no one is ignoring the other polls, but rather, it should be noted, the other polls undercount the minority vote participation as well as the likely participation of females, and thus they are slightly skewed.

                    Remember, polls are what they are, a snapshot in time of where the race stands and not necessarily predictors of what’s going to happen.

                    GA is a competitive state and these races are going to be very close.

                  • John Konop says:


                    I am a risk guy that makes money by evaluating data and trends….My comments about this topic is irrelevent to what side I am on….As I have said numerous times that data is clear about the trends in Georgia via population shift….I did not think it was this fast…I have always thought 20 on was the real breaking point….but I do not know nor study the trends like Mark…ie his core business….win or lose the real point is this election should be a wake up call for the GOP if they do not win by more than 8 points….unless GOP shifts strategy on some issues this will be like gravity…..simple concepts like anti affirmative action winner verse culture war loser…..policemen of the world loser verse conservative use of military…..

                    • Bobloblaw says:

                      Since youre a numbers guy, you know that about 5% of polls are simply wrong. Bad data. This is likely one of them.

                      If what youre saying about demographic trends is correct and this poll is correct, then we should see a pretty broad Dem victory in GA this Nov. Not just these two races. How many will vote GOP in the down ticket races and vote Dem in the top 2? Will Deal get 5% of the black vote and Olens 25%? How many seats will the GOP lose in the Legislature? How much closer with the Congressional GOP victories in GA be? Since 2000, there has been virtually no ticket splitting in the US.

                      BTW the Dems will be the policeman of the world too because either they will or the world will be consumed by genocide.

                      This poll is essentially predicting a Dem wave in GA. GA in two years has become what it took 5-8 years for VA to become.

                      Blacks vote Dem regardless of policy positions. Ive actually seen a major statewide election where it was a conservative Dem versus a liberal GOPer. White votes flipped but blacks voted for the rightwing Dem over the liberal GOPer. No policy changes by the GOP can attract black votes.

                    • John Konop says:


                      As I have said numerous times I did not think it was trending this fast…..In anylsising research key factors is understanding the variables….The two variables at question are female vote and minority turnout. I do think Mark makes a rational arguement….Yet as I said if his arguement is correct it should show up on a macro on all statewide races… your point….as a number guy I will bet you that the governor and US senate race will be closer that the last one….do we have a bet? If not that means you see the trend as well…..

              • Dave Bearse says:

                The poll is a bit of an outlier at this point, but there’s speculation in labeling it a bad poll.

                • Bobloblaw says:

                  I agree both races will be closer than the last two. But they should be. Deal is ethically challenged and there is no incumbent in the other.

    • And one final comment, when Democrats do finally force a runoff or win a general election (whether it is this year, 2016 or 2018) the numbers I’ve laid about above are going to seem SO obvious to everyone in hindsight, the same way that 2002’s election results made a lot more sense after the fact.

      • Harry says:

        The electorate is more polarized by race than ever, thanks to Obama. The black electorate won’t show up at the polls to vote for privileged white kids. If Democrats had a problem in 2010, they have an even bigger problem in 2014. All the go-vote propaganda won’t change that. Let’s see if I’m wrong. White liberals also need emotional appeal to motivate them to vote. It’s not there this time, Carter and Nunn can’t provide it, and both Dem base voter groups understand that Obama didn’t pan out and that plays a role also. They’re not motivated to turn out. How does a pollster weigh for motivation?

      • Bobloblaw says:

        Well at some point the Dems will at least force a runoff ( didn’t they in 2008?). Just like at some point a GOPer will win IL.

        • Probably the best point of all. In 2008 not only did we force a runoff, in the first round our candidate got more votes in the PSC race. The 2014 dynamics of the electorate (percentage black etc) will be about the same as 2008.

          • Bobloblaw says:

            No it won’t. 2012 wasn’t like 2008. I think your putting just a few too many eggs in the massive minority turn out basket. Some how GA has been flooded in only two years by a massive number of politically active minorities seems a bit of a stretch. Unless other polls begin to show the same, this poll is simply wrong. Statistically 5%!of polls will be wildly off .

        • David C says:

          A GOPer will probably win the IL governorship this year, because the Democratic incumbent is rather weak and unpopular, and they lost the Senate seat in 2010 (and nearly lost the Governorship too) as part of the backlash and hangover from the epic scandal of an ethically compromised governor. Something for the local GOP to think about.

    • Bobloblaw says:

      The difference between 24% and 29% turnout doesn’t explain the difference in results . We aren’t talking about polls showing a 2-3 point difference. We are talking about polls showing one candidate up 7 and the other up by a similar amount. Polls in GA have been pretty accurate with no surprises. Likewise another high minority state where Dems win is LA. Again no surprises there in recent years.

  4. Fred H says:

    Runoff-that’s the one word no one dared utter, but seems very likely in the Governor’s race. As Mark pointed out, the Libertarian vote is pretty consistent historically at somewhere between 3 and 4% in the Gov race . If we take the low end of 3%, then 47% is the magic number for Carter-a number Chris just touched on in his post. I think it’s safe to say he will outperform Barnes. So the question is can Carter build on the “Barnes Map” to get to 47%? A second question is can Gov. Deal cut the Libertarian vote to a new low?

  5. Sherena Arrington says:

    I am curious also about this polling process and wonder if you are able to gain a fuller picture of how the vote could break if you polled all the statewide races at the same time in these surveys. In other words, with a broader look at all the statewide races, does that help identify how the demographics matter as opposed to the race itself and the personalities of the candidates?

    • The biggest problem with polling the other races is that for the most part no one really knows that much about the other candidates (especially months away from the election). The last time I polled Sam Olens which was this year, he was 65% unknown. And he is the sitting attorney general!

      What typically happens is the other races end up breaking similarly to the Governor’s race, with an advantage for the incumbents. Since all of the sitting officeholders are Republicans, they would probably need Carter to be at close to 49 to force their races into runoffs, and something like 52 or 53 to lose outright.

  6. Mr. Conservative II says:

    Perdue needs to get concerned and step up his campaign. Nunn took a page out of Obama’s playbook with the Pillowtex ad. She is defining him as the out-of-touch rich guy. I hope he responds to this, otherwise it will work. Another thing, quit worrying about how the polls are weighted. It is a legitimate question, but it can lead to some incorrect assumptions as Romney supporters discovered. Remember all those “experts” who said Obama’s support was over-weighted by the polling samples? Romney sure does. I hope Purdue learns this lesson and defines himself rather than allowing Nunn to do it. Otherwise, he will be wondering how she won.

    • David C says:

      In 2002, the Democrats won all the statewide offices they already had except for two: Governor and Senator. Food for thought.

    • Bobloblaw says:

      It is either an outlier or a point of inflection that Landmark was the first to capture. Ive looked at all races in the RCP. No one, no one at all, has this much divergence with respect to other polls. Sure there are polls that show Crist +2 and Scott +1 or Tillis +2 and Hagen +1. But those are consistent. Not even the NH polls that show Shaeen +10 to Shaeen +2 (Which I dont buy) are this divergent.

      If the GOP is trailing this badly, why not begin to ask which other Statewide elections will the GOP lose? How many Carter/Olens voters will there be? Will the GOP lose a large number of seats in the legislature?

      What this poll is saying is that there is a significant Democrat tide building in GA. It cant just be these two races.

      • John Konop says:


        This is the point I agree with you…..the shift is not candidate driven on a macro, instead party driven…this is a very valid question for Mark….Would like to hear his response…..

        • Bobloblaw says:

          Deal and Perdue are mainstream GOP nominees. If the GOP had gone with Broun and Pennington, then we could say that the problem was the candidates and the rest of the GOP down ticket would likely win. But if Nunn/Carter are leading due to large black turnout and larger black percent of the electorate, the GOP will lose downticket races too and probably a few state house/senate seats and congressional races should be closer. Yet no one even the most optimistic Dems are predicting that.

      • Stefan says:

        Actually it could be neither a point of inflection nor an outlier. It just uses a different set of assumptions about the makeup of the November electorate and thus gives a different result. Here’s my fearless prediction: if Perdue is down 20 among women to Nunn on election day then he loses without a runoff.

        • Bobloblaw says:

          Well is is certainly an outlier because no other poll has it at Nunn +7 much less leading.
          I suspect the poll is simply bad data. I found out today that the sample size was 600 which is a tad small. As I have said previously numerous times. About 5% of polls will be off entirely. Polling isnt a perfect science ( ie Dewey defeats Truman).

          • Stefan says:

            The final number isn’t important because the differences in the polls that lead to that number are what are important. Percentage of black voters, percentage of white vote for the Democrat, gender makeup of the electorate. If you take your theory of what the November voter makeup will be, you can multiply the underlying poll results by those numbers to determine the top line. The underlying numbers in this poll are not significantly different from previous polls – the top line result may be. That’s why I said this poll may not be an outlier.

  7. debbie0040 says:

    Guys and gals, polls now mean nothing and they are reactionary now to the campaign ads. Voters are not paying attention to the candidates. They are focused on getting their kids back in school and the events in the news cycle and even college football kickoff.

    Voters don’t start paying attention until after labor day and most really don’t until end of September/first of October.

    The fact the majority of the undecided are African American should let people know the GOP is going to have to work their rears off to get Deal and Perdue elected. Hopefully Perdue won’t make another 47% like moment gaffe and no more scandals break involving Gov. Deal. The GOP should be ok but they need to work like they are 4 touchdowns behind and it is the 4th quarter…

  8. Three Jack says:

    Were there any questions about issues included with this poll?

    I agree with Debbie here, polls this far out mean nothing. Nunn having won a cake walk primary has yet to address any issues of concern for most voters. Perdue may have done so during his primary, but still hasn’t proven to be knowledgable on issues as he showed again in Macon last week. How can anybody other than party loyalists know who they support at this early stage?

    • Bobloblaw says:

      Polls this early can be pretty accurate and debates dont matter in these races unless someone says something like Mourdock said in IN.

      • Three Jack says:

        I agree debates don’t matter. But defining oneself to voters does, but neither candidate feels the need to do so. Thus this and all other polling for this race can only be based on party loyalties and/or lies.

        I dare you to come up with 3 issues either candidate has spoken about beyond the normal party soundbites. It is actually pretty scary that voters will know more about the current Bachelorette bimbo than either of these candidates.

          • Three Jack says:

            Lea, you are correct to some extent. But if there was a candidate who actually stood out by putting forth an agressive, positive agenda, he or she just might compete with Andi and Josh. This race has been and looks like it will continue to be about Pillowtex and Points of Light.

            • Lea Thrace says:

              My take:

              By virtue of being a regular here at PP, you are waaaaay waaaay waaay more informed that the vast majority of the likely voters. A candidate like that would play really well for you but would seriously fail or expend way more energy than needed with the generally uninformed votes.

              Campaigns either play to their base or prey on the fears/comfort zone of the uninformed. Right now Perdue is playing to A and Nunn is playing to B. Neither are geared to getting people like you and I to vote for them

              C’est la vie.

  9. sogabuzz says:

    This whole discussion assumes that the people of Georgia are to stupid to know the real issues and therefore for whom to vote. Without hearing from either candidate it is easy to know not to vote for anyone associated with the present administration. This also assumes that voters read and have a rudimentary understanding of what makes the wheels turn which is a stretch. This of course quite possibly skews the polls.

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