Once again, whether Georgia voters have to endure a runoff over Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s will be up to a small group of voters who describe themselves as “Libertarian.” My firm partnered with Hicks Evaluation Group to poll folks who have already voted. (Nothing to disclose, really, as neither of us has a client in any of the races listed.) The full release is below the fold, but here’s the gist of what we found:
- Support for Libertarian candidates is far smaller than previous polling has indicated
- Democratic nominee Valarie Wilson is the best positioned Democrat to defeat a Republican on November 4th.
- Carter is outperforming Nunn among African Americans. Nunn is outperforming Carter among women
- Efforts by Perdue to reduce the “Gender Gap” among women (and widen it among men) appear to be working
- Deal performs best with voters age 65 and over.
Release below. Release with Crosstabs available at this link.
(Atlanta, Ga)- The Hicks Evaluation Group and Apache Political conducted an exit poll of early voters in Georgia from October 28th-30th. Participants were surveyed about their selections for US Senate, Governor and State Superintendent of Schools. The survey found both Deal and Perdue in the lead and with slightly more than 50% of the vote and Richard Wood with a slight lead over Democratic Nominee Valarie Wilson in the race for Georgia’s top educator. Both Democratic candidates, Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter are within striking distance, however, it appears that support for the Libertarian candidates is falling and coalescing around Republicans.
“This survey is positive and troubling for both parties. What we are seeing is regular voters voting early, not new voters. This shows that the faithful in Georgia still lean Republican, but to a much smaller degree than in the past,” said lead pollster and President of the Hicks Evaluation Group, Fred Hicks.
Mike Hassinger, President of Republican consulting firm Apache Political said, “It appears that the support for Libertarians in the polls was a protest vote against Republicans. Now that actual voting has started, Republican voters are returning home and that’s the difference in whether there will be a runoff or not.”
The Hicks Evaluation Group and Apache Political have jointly tracked the Georgia election throughout the year. Their work early in the year indicated dissatisfaction amongst Republicans towards the Governor and the rise of David Perdue in a contested Primary. Data from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office was used to determine who voted early.
“This survey represents a best and worst case scenario for both parties. It is doubtful that African American turnout will continue to be this high, which favors Republicans, and it is doubtful that the electorate will skew this old, which favors Democrats,” said Hicks. He continued, “There are three big ‘ifs’ going into Election Day. IF minority turnout continues to exceed 30% and if the Democrats can earn 27% of the White vote and if voters under age 45 increase their participation, then the Democrats can force a Runoff in the race for Senate and Governor and actually win the race for Superintendent on November 4th. Their path is clear and it’s all about turnout.”
The survey was conducted using IVR/autodial only. Voters were randomly selected from the pool of early voters. As a method of verifying early voting status, all participants were asked if they voted early. Only those who said yes received the full survey.