For the first time since he became the Republican nominee for governor, Nathan Deal has reached the magic 50 percent mark in a Rasmussen Reports poll.
Democrat Roy Barnes comes in at 41 percent, and Libertarian John Monds ties with undecided voters at 3 percent.
Last month, Rasmussen had the pair closer, with Deal at 45 percent and Barnes at 39 percent.
The Rasmussen poll undergirds two important points:
– The last few weeks – dominated by news of the former congressman’s financial distress — have raised Deal’s unfavorable ratings with voters significantly, though Barnes raises even more hackles;
– But uncertainty about the economy remains the driving force in the race.
The stats: 750 likely voters, conducted Oct. 6, MOE of +/- 4 percentage points. The poll is automated.
Some of the Rasmussen analysis:
Eleven percent (11%) of all voters in the state rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent, but 54% describe it as poor. Thirty-one percent (31%) say the economy is getting better, while 44% say it’s getting worse.
Barnes has an overwhelming lead among voters who say the economy is improving. Deal has an equally solid lead among those who think things are worsening economically.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of the state’s voters have a favorable opinion of Deal, with 14% who view him Very Favorably. He is viewed unfavorably by 47%, including 22% with a Very Unfavorable view.
For Barnes, favorables are 44% and unfavorables 54%, including 23% Very Favorable and 33% Very Unfavorable.