Libertarian Could Force Runoff in Georgia Senate Race

Friday, 22 Aug 2014 02:41 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Republican David Perdue is leading Democrat Michelle Nunn in the Georgia Senate race, but Libertarian Party candidate Amanda Swafford could force a runoff between her rivals, a new poll reveals.

The poll by Insider Advantage/Opinion Savvy Survey shows that Perdue leads Nunn by 7 points, 47 percent to 40 percent, with Swafford garnering 8 percent of the likely voters. But under Georgia law, a candidate must have 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff, MyFoxAtlanta.com reported.

Matt Towery, CEO of Insider Advantage, told Atlanta's Fox5 that the race was "competitive," but said that Nunn faces an uphill fight.

"Perdue, who did well with women voters in both the primary and the primary runoff, continues to perform well, running about equal with Nunn," Towery said. "But among male voters, Perdue has a significant lead.

"For Nunn to push this race into a runoff, she must increase her numbers among white men, and among independent voters, who currently favor Perdue by 14 points.

"She will pick up additional points as African-American voters drift from the undecided camp, and as the youngest of voters, who likely have never heard of Perdue, drift more to their natural Democratic voting pattern."

Towery added, "For Perdue to avoid a runoff, he must increase his numbers among women voters, and start to appeal to voters who are parents of teenagers or young children."

A runoff would not be held until after the November general election.

The poll of 719 likely voters was conducted Aug. 12-13, and has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

The bid to fill the open seat of retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss is one of the key races of the midterm elections, with Democrats fighting to keep control of the Senate.

Outside groups have spent more than $8 million on the race, and Perdue, a former corporate CEO, is wealthy enough to finance innumerable campaign ads. Nunn is the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia.

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