With the general election just a week from Tuesday, a new independent poll from SurveyUSA commissioned by 11Alive News and V-103 Radio shows a commanding lead for Georgia’s Republicans in statewide offices, but it also shows an increased possibility of a runoff in the hotly contested governor’s race.
Democratic candidate and former Gov. Roy Barnes is up a small bit from our last survey six weeks ago, but the numbers indicate that Republican former US Congressman Nathan Deal is ahead of Barnes, 49 percent to 39 percent.
Libertarian John Monds, at 8 percent, Monday takes the votes of 1-in-4 independents and 1-in-6 liberals, potentially keeping Deal just under the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, though support for third-party candidates sometimes collapses on Election Day.
From the SurveyUSA web site, with crosstabs:
Deal is flat. Barnes has gained ground among men and voters under age 50; there is offsetting momentum for Deal among women andvoters 50+.
Libertarian John Monds, at 8%, today takes the votes of 1 in 4 independents and 1 in 6 liberals, potentially keeping Deal just under the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff, though support for 3rd-party candidates sometimes collapses on Election Day.
The survey interviewed 1,100 Georgia adults between Oct. 21 and Oct. 24 via telephone. Of those surveyed, 909 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 601 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the general election. The margin of sampling error was a plus-or-minus 4.1 percent.
My AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon was with Deal today during a swing through Cedartown in Polk County, and filed this:
“We are hoping that won’t be the case,” Deal said about a runoff. “I don’t think anybody wants to have another month-long session of this. We feel pretty good about avoiding that possibility, quite frankly. We think the undecideds are breaking our way. And if that happens, there won’t be a runoff.”
Neither is Barnes talking about a runoff. Following the former governor in middle Georgia, my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin sent this:
“I think I can win without one,” Barnes said. “I think I’ve been through these things before. You generally move around and see it gel at the end. I see that happening already.”
SurveyUSA also says two other races could end up in a runoff:
Republican Sam Olens is right at the 50 percent mark in his race against Democrat Ken Hodges for attorney general, and John Barge is under 50 percent in his contest against Democrat Joe Martin for state school superintendent.
In the governor’s race, both Deal and Barnes are on bus trips across the state today.
This morning, the Barnes campaign issued this version of the Marietta attorney’s closing argument – in which Barnes pitches himself as an alternative to scandal: