New PPP survey: Saxby Chambliss ‘vulnerable,’ but leads potential GOP opponents

A new survey of Georgia voters by Public Policy Polling says U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss can make it to a 2014 general election, he would be hard to beat – but would be “theoretically very vulnerable” in a Republican primary.

See the poll details here. From the press release:

Only 38% of Republican primary voters say they want Chambliss to be their nominee next year, compared to 43% who would prefer someone more conservative. But Chambliss stomps most of the people who’ve shown the most interest in taking him on.

He leads Congressman Paul Broun by a 57/14 margin in a head to head, has a 52/34 advantage over Congressman Tom Price, and leads former Secretary of State Karen Handel 52/23.

In terms of the general election the Georgia Senate race is somewhat reminiscent of the Indiana contest this cycle- if Chambliss is the nominee the seat is probably safe for the GOP, but if someone far to his right wins the primary the Democrats might have a chance
if everything goes their way.

The only Democrat who comes particularly close to Chambliss is 2002 foe Max Cleland, who despite being quite popular with a 50/27 favorability rating, only musters a tie at 45. Chambliss leads former Governor Roy Barnes 48-40, Congressman John Barrow 50-37, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed 52-37, and State Senator Jason Carter 52-34.

If Chambliss was taken out in the primary, it’s likely the Republicans would end up with a nominee who doesn’t have that going for them. We tested Tom Price against all the Democrats as well and he would trail Cleland 47-39 and Barnes 46-40 while leading Barrow only 40-38, Reed 43-38, and Carter 42-36. It could have the potential to be a race if Chambliss does get primaried.

There’s no indication, by the way that former U.S. senator Max Cleland — whom Chambliss defeated in 2002 — would consider a return to politics.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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18 comments Add your comment

Jamie Roberts

December 4th, 2012
11:55 am

Pretty sad when a significant portion of your party wants to punish you for showing a little statesmanship.

Paul Broun? Seriously?

December 4th, 2012
12:21 pm

Agree Jamie. But unfortunately, that is the state of my party in Georgia. I hate when liberals poke fun at the current Republican party, but deep down, I can’t blame them. It’s just too easy.

And is this Paul Broun talk serious? Paul Broun? Seriously? Give me a break. That guy is OUT THERE. What the extremists like Paul Broun don’t realize is that THEY cost us the election. The people in Ohio and other swing states WHO ACTUALLY DECIDED the election do not buy into the crazy rhetoric about birth certificates, death panels, and UN Conspiracy Agendas.

But unfortunately, a large portion of the Georgia Republicans (mostly in rural areas) do.

So thank you Erick Erickson for 4 more years of Obama!!! Way to go!


December 4th, 2012
12:53 pm

Max Cleland, Roy Barnes, Kasim Reed, Jason Carter??? This is the best that the GA Democrats have to offer???

If so, the GOP nominee will win regardless of who it is.


December 4th, 2012
1:20 pm

MiltonMan– You’re one of those Republicans who is in complete denial. All the Georgia Democrat party needs to do is wait you guys out. In the next 7 to 10 years, Georgia demographics will change so dramatically that you’ll be shocked how few Republican office holders there’ll be. So, enjoy your time in the sun. I not too many years hence, you’ll see Republican politicians jumping back to the Democrat party which many of them left in this decade.

[...] New PPP survey: Saxby Chambliss ‘vulnerable,’ but leads potential GOP opponents [...]


December 4th, 2012
2:50 pm

Cleland and Barnes won’t run because they have moved on. Reed might but he is adverse to possible long term effects of a loss. Carter brings a youthful energy and new look and even if he lost closely his statewide credentials would be established for many years. If he wants it, he can win a Democratic Primary.


December 4th, 2012
3:08 pm

Just ignore the fact that the PPP was founded by a Democrat & is left-leaning.


December 4th, 2012
3:12 pm

“MiltonMan– You’re one of those Republicans who is in complete denial. All the Georgia Democrat party needs to do is wait you guys out. In the next 7 to 10 years,”

Please, oh please, tell us which dems will win the North GA districts where they currently are lucky to garner 20% of the vote.


December 4th, 2012
3:14 pm

MiltonMan–I won’t argue with fact that PPP does polling for Dem.Party and leans that way, but the fact is their polls have been among the most accurate out there. If you were politician who would you want providing you numbers—someone who tells you the way things are or the one who tells you just what you want to hear? Ask Mitt Romney about that.


December 4th, 2012
3:15 pm

“Just ignore the fact that the PPP was founded by a Democrat & is left-leaning.”

You mean the same PPP that was the most accurate pollster in the November election?

What are you holding out for MiltonMan? An evaluation from the folks at “unskewed polls”, LOL! Maybe Rasmussen, who did a horrible job last November? Dick Morris? Karl Rove? LOL!

Man Up

December 4th, 2012
4:09 pm

Saxby needs to Man Up and stare down good ole Grover and stand up for the country. GOP leaders look painfully weak with their attempts to hold onto to their “pledge” to a MAN! We need to find leaders who can reach workable solutions for the country. The GOP is in desperate need of a leader with balance. Saxby appeared to hold that position for almost a full week.. pathetic.

Auntie Christ

December 4th, 2012
4:26 pm

Steve Henson, Dekalb 41 Senator is the type of populist Democrat that can win statewide. If he decides to run, he will win.

[...] New PPP survey: Saxby Chambliss ‘vulnerable,’ but leads potential GOP opponents [...]


December 4th, 2012
5:15 pm

Saxby has a good chance of drawing in independents, Democrats if the Dems can’t come up with a good candidate, and those few Republicans left who are not extremist right wingers. I am actually proud of Chambliss, for being a statesman and not just a knee-jerk reactionary like the rest of the Republican party.

Now, we just need to get Isakson to act like a thinking adult. He can do it, he is just out of practice.


December 4th, 2012
11:37 pm

MiltonMan — You can read, can’t you? My premise is based on the fact that Georgia demographics (including those in North Georgia) will look totally different 7 to 10 years from now. I know it’s tough to imagine a Georgia not led by Republicans who have done a dismal job of governing this state for the last 12 years. Twelve years from now, it won’t matter because the GOP as we know it today can’t read the tea leaves and realize that as long as it continues to exclude African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Women, it will die a slow death and there won’t even be a whimper to be heard. Like the dinosaur, the GOP and its current membership will become extinct. The clock is ticking.

[...] New PPP survey: Saxby Chambliss ‘vulnerable,’ but leads potential GOP opponents [...]

[...] New PPP survey: Saxby Chambliss ‘vulnerable,’ but leads potential GOP opponents [...]


December 5th, 2012
12:17 pm

I might have been inclined to vote for Chambliss but yesterday he and Isakson voted Nay on an international treaty on disabilities modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act of 22 years ago. Bob Dole, in a wheelchair now, came to the Senate floor, to encourage its passage. All of his colleagues that he served with also voted nay. The only Republicans that voted yea were McCain and those Republican Senators from the NE. Failed by 5 votes as treaties require 66 votes.
Shame on Isakson and Chambliss