Political Insider

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More PPP numbers: On Nathan Deal, the U.S. Senate contest, the Braves and the 2018 race for governor

Public Policy Polling of North Carolina is out this afternoon with more Georgia survey numbers on a wide range of topics. Among them: Gov. Nathan Deal has a 50 percent approval rating among his fellow Republicans, but stronger-than-usual support among Democrats.

The numbers most probably reflect the governor's recent vetoes of campus-carry and “religious liberty” legislation.

The automated poll was conducted May 27-30 and included 724 Georgia voters. Not likely voters, which limits the survey’s usefulness.

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson leads Democratic newcomer Jim Barksdale 47 to 35 percent. If those numbers look familiar, they should. They’re nearly identical to the Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton split detected by the same PPP poll and released Monday. Very much a sign of a polarized electorate in this state. However, the poll does contain a glimmer of hope for Barksdale. From the press release:

Voters are pretty evenly divided in their feelings about Isakson -- 40 percent approve of the job he's doing, to 37 percent who disapprove. Barksdale is relatively unknown -- 59 percent of voters have no opinion about him one way or another, but among voters who are familiar with him he actually leads Isakson 50/43, which bodes well....

Perhaps most surprising facet of the survey is the fact that PPP chose to test Democrats Jason Carter, the former state senator who challenged Deal in 2014, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, against two potential Republican candidates for governor in 2018 – Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Carter leads Kemp, 40 to 38 percent, and trails Cagle, 40 to 39 percent. Reed trails both Cagle, 46 to 33 percent, and Kemp, 43 to 33 percent.

The PPP survey also found that 51 percent of Braves fans disapprove of the team’s move from downtown Atlanta to Cobb County. Thirty-seven percent approve. Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee, trapped on the dangerous side of a July re-election runoff, hopes that those 37 percent all live in Cobb.

For details, you can scroll through the entire polling memo below:

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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.