Poll: Democrat Michelle Nunn Leads Republicans in Ga. Senate Race

Image: Poll: Democrat Michelle Nunn Leads Republicans in Ga. Senate Race

Monday, 12 May 2014 11:19 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Democrats have a credible chance of winning the open Senate seat of retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a new poll has found, which puts Michelle Nunn ahead of all five GOP contenders.

A statewide survey in Georgia conducted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 5-8 of 1,012 registered voters found that the presumed Senate Democratic nominee has significant leads over four out of the five top GOP contenders, and a 1 percent advantage over the leading GOP candidate David Perdue at 46 percent to 45 percent.

"The poll is good news for Democrats hoping the party can harness a rising number of minority voters and other newcomers in November rather than waiting for future election cycles, as national political observers envision Georgia as a swing state in the making," the Journal-Constitution said, noting, however, that it is still very early in the election season.

The May 20 GOP primary is expected to result in a July runoff between the top two vote-getters. Other than frontrunner Perdue, a Fortune 500 executive, Nunn is also ahead of Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel by 49 percent to 41 percent.

She also has a lead over Rep. Jack Kingston of 50 percent compared to 40 percent. And Rep. Paul Broun trails Nunn 38 percent to 51 percent, while Nunn leads Rep. Phil Gingrey by 52 percent to 37 percent.

The Journal-Constitution noted, however, that Nunn's leads shrink when only voters who said they were "very likely" to vote were counted. Perdue, for example, would take the lead at 49 percent, compared to 46 percent among likely voters.

"The results illustrate a core challenge for Democrats in a midterm election year: Their coalition of younger, multiethnic voters does not turn out as well without a presidential election," the Journal-Constitution said. "Party leaders across the country who see Georgia as the next purple state plan to invest big money in finding those voters, though."

In April, Nunn reported a massive cash advantage over her GOP rivals, having raised $2.4 million during the first three months of 2014, more than twice as much as her top reporting Republican opponent.

The current poll results also suggest she has gained some momentum in recent weeks, as a poll published last month showed her narrowly trailing four out of five Republicans, including Perdue, with just a slight lead at the time over Handel.

The poll indicated that Obamacare is likely to feature prominently during the election, with Georgia voters taking strong opposing opinions on the new healthcare law.

Specifically, most Georgia voters think the Affordable Care Act requires major changes; one-third believes it should be eliminated, and 53 percent believe it will have no effect on them or their families.

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