The AJC has released a new poll of Georgia's races for governor and U.S. Senate, and it shows what most other recent polls have shown -- a pair of close races:
"Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, garners 43 percent of likely voters, while Democrat Jason Carter holds 42 percent and Libertarian Andrew Hunt brings in 7 percent, including voters who were leaning toward one candidate.
"(David) Perdue notched 45 percent, compared with 41 percent for Democrat Michelle Nunn and 6 percent for Libertarian Amanda Swafford, including leaners."
Some observations and thoughts:
1. I do not believe the Libertarian candidates will get 6-7 percent in these races. History tells us 3-4 percent is more likely. What does that mean? I would guess it means some of those people now saying they'll vote "L" will either hold their noses and vote for the Republican, while others will stay home.
2. Recent polling results, including these, are more ominous for Deal than for Perdue, who isn't an incumbent. The rule of thumb is that an incumbent polling below 50 percent is in trouble.
3. This poll is yet another reason the decision announced yesterday by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, that it doesn't plan to spend any more money in Georgia , is interesting. Maybe the NRSC doesn't believe our poll, but there aren't any major polls out there showing Perdue above 47 percent (counting only the latest one by any given pollster).
4. One of the best things that could happen to Deal is for Perdue to run up the score in his race, lifting other Republicans along the way. Right after the run-off, it looked like that might be a possibility. But given the way things are shaping up, is that still realistic? I'm not sure.
5. All politics is local, except when it isn't. If this mid-term election looks like it's going to produce a GOP "wave" and a majority in the Senate, I have a hard time believing Georgia will miss out on that. But if the Senate big picture is unclear, we could be in for an interesting election here.
Fifty-three days to go ...
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