Political Insider

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A pro-Pennington PAC blasts Deal ahead of primary

A string of recent polls may show a tight race between Gov. Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter. But David Pennington's conservative supporters want to remind voters that the governor can't pivot toward November quite yet.

A PAC called Conservative Business Leaders just snapped up ads on metro Atlanta TV markets in the runup to next week's primary. Expect the group, which trumpets its support for the former Dalton mayor on its website, to air anti-Deal spots like the one below that invokes his snowjam performance.

It's not a huge buy - at least $6,100 - but a sign that Pennington's conservative friends are digging a bit deeper into their pockets.


Speaking of those polls, another one released today by Saint Leo University Polling Institute shows Deal leading Carter by 38 to 35 percent among likely general election voters, within the survey's margin of error. The tight race mirrors the AJC poll that published over the weekend.

An interesting St. Leo finding: Seven percent of voters said they support Libertarian Andrew Hunt and another one-fifth of the electorate is yet undecided or backed another candidate.

Frank Orlando, a Saint Leo University political scientist, said Hunt's showing is a sign that Deal needs to shore up support from core Republicans. Said Orlando:

“Because of the state’s conservative tendency, Deal must ensure that he doesn’t lose votes from co-partisans to both Carter and wild card Libertarian candidate.”

That poll was conducted May 5-6 and combines online responses with prerecorded phone messages. The margin of error was three percentage points.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.