11 Alive has released the results of a new SurveyUSA poll that for the first time in their series of polls shows Michelle Nunn in the lead for the Georgia Senate race against David Perdue. The poll shows Democrat Michelle Nunn with 48%, Republican David Perdue with 45%, and Libertarian Amanda Swafford with 3%. 4% of voters remain undecided. While the margin of error is 4.2%, meaning that the two could conceivably be tied, that’s likely no consolation.
Looking at the poll’s crosstabs, the electorate is assumed to be 61% white, 27% black, 7% Hispanic and 5% Asian. That potentially underestimates the black vote, which is overwhelmingly in favor of Nunn, by about two percent. And, if the poll is correct in reflecting the ultimate vote, a 50/50 split among undecideds could bring Nunn a win without a runoff.
The pollsters note how Perdue is losing support from groups previously on his side:
Week-on-week, Nunn has gained ground among men, where she now trails by 3. (Five weeks ago, she trailed among men by 19.) Among Independents, Nunn has closed to within 6 of Perdue (she had trailed by 28 points among Independents in August). In greater Atlanta, Nunn had led by as few as 10 points, but today leads by 22.
In the gubernatorial contest. Republican Nathan Deal is tied with Democrat Jason Carter at 46% apiece. 4% support Libertarian Andrew Hunt and 4% are undecided.
In down-ballot races, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle leads challenger Connie Stokes 49%-42%. Secretary of State Brian Kemp leads Doreen Carter 48%-41% in his bid for re-election. In a tight race, Attorney General Sam Olens leads Greg Hecht 46%-43%, with 11% undecided.
The race for State School Superintendent shows a tie between Democrat Valarie Wilson and Republican Richard Woods. Each has 46%, with 8% undecided. One of the main things that differentiate Woods and Wilson is their support or opposition to the Common Core educational standards. Wilson supports them, while Woods opposes them.
In the SurveyUSA poll, 35% opposed the standards and 20% supported them. 45% didn’t know enough to say. The most support for the standards appears to come from blacks and those under the age of 35. Members of these groups typically favor the Dempcratic candidate on other matchups.
The poll was taken between October 10th through October 13th. That means those polled would have had the opportunity to be influenced by last week’s Governor and Senate debates in Perry. Most of those polled would not have seen the Atlanta Press Club debates for down-ballot races that were aired Sunday.
Polls released within the last month had David Perdue with a comfortable lead over Michelle Nunn. What could have changed? Many potential voters appear to be turned off by Perdue’s ads claiming Nunn supported terrorists, as evidenced by her leaked campaign plan. Others appear to be frustrated by the lack of a positive vision or legislative agenda by the Republican candidate.
With votes being cast and three weeks to go before the polls close, the opportunity to change these perceptions is dwindling.