Poll: Handel in Virtual Tie With Perdue in Ga. GOP Sen. Primary Race

Image: Poll: Handel in Virtual Tie With Perdue in Ga. GOP Sen. Primary Race Former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel, left and David Perdue.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 10:43 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel has pulled into second place in the tight GOP Senate primary race, and is in a virtual tie with leader David Perdue, a poll released Thursday showed.

Handel, who attracted wide media attention when a leaked video showed Perdue criticizing her for not having a college degree, and then snagged an endorsement from Sarah Palin, elbowed past Rep. Jack Kingston, who poured big money into TV advertising, the survey by Insider Advantage for Fox News' Atlanta affiliate showed.

Perdue, a former CEO of Dollar General, topped the poll with 22 percent, Handel had 21 percent and Kingston slipped to third with 17 percent.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

“Kingston has been losing metro-Atlanta female support with his ‘folksy’ TV ads for weeks," Matt Towery, InsiderAdvantage’s CEO Matt Towery told Fox News in Atlanta.

"Handel, who usually does not poll as well with female voters, is picking up significant female support and is starting to leave both David Perdue and Jack Kingston substantially behind with women."

Reps. Paul Broun, with 14 percent, and Phil Gingrey, with 12 percent, were in the fourth and fifth spots.

"The other candidates show little if any movement," Towery said. "If Handel were to spend any degree of significant money on broadcast TV ads in the final two weeks, her momentum could take her to first place, leaving Perdue and Kingston battling for a spot in the runoff...."

Michelle Nunn is the likely Democrat in the race to fill the seat being vacated by two-term GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

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