State Rep. Austin Scott is closing in on incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall in Georgia’s 8th congressional district, a poll conducted for Scott’s campaign shows.
The poll shows Marshall leading Scott 44 percent to 39 percent, within the margin of error of 5.7 percentage points.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the poll Tuesday. It was conducted in late July by American Viewpoint, a Virginia-based company that also polls for incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. As it’s an internal campaign poll, the results should be used as a basis for discussion only.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, the GOP organization charged with electing Republican congressmen, has also reserved air time on television stations in the districts and will soon start an advertising campaign aimed at taking out Marshall, a conservative Democrat long on the Republican’s hit list. GA-8 is one of 40 districts in which the NRCC has purchased airtime.
But the three-term incumbent Democrat has continued to frustrated Republican attempts to defeat him. Scott, a 14-year veteran of the General Assembly, launched his campaign against Marshall after first considering a bid for governor.
The poll shows the 21-county district deeply unsatisfied with Democratic leadership in Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is given a favorable rating by only 17 percent; President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is 40 percent.
Marshall’s “re-elect” number, that is the percentage of respondents who said he definitely deserves re-election, was 35 percent. That figure, however, can be argued both ways. For an incumbent to have a re-elect number under 50 percent is cause for concern, but is not necessarily fatal. At 35 percent, it could mean Marshall only needs to convince 15 percent more to vote for him.