U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston’s one-point lead one week ago over businessman David Perdue has stretched to five points in the Republican Senate runoff, poll results showed Thursday.
The InsiderAdvantage/Fox5/Morris News survey was conducted with OpinionSavvy July 15-16 and included telephone and online surveys of 696 likely voters in Tuesday’s Georgia GOP primary runoff.
The latest results show Kingston leading Perdue 46-41 percent, a spread just outside the margin of error. Thirteen percent said they were undecided.
“This survey indicates that Kingston has managed to retake momentum in the race with under a week to go,” said InsiderAdvantage CEO and Fox 5 political analyst Matt Towery.
The winner of the runoff between Perdue, the former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok, and Kingston, an 11-term congressman from Savannah, will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in the November general election to succeed retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
“We feel really good about the numbers we’re seeing on the ground,” said Chris Crawford, campaign manager for the congressman. “Mr. Kingston never takes anything for granted and always campaigns and works like he’s the underdog.”
Perdue spokesman Derrick Dickey, however, said the campaign has internal numbers that show Perdue slightly leading Kingston but would not provide specifics to a reporter Thursday.
“David is giving the voters a clear choice in this election,” he said. “If they like what’s going on in Washington, they can vote for Jack Kingston. But nothing will change.” Towery said Perdue’s campaign and his supporters have emphasized their candidate’s “political outsider” position as a candidate running against the “insider” Kingston.
“While that theme has worked well with older voters, it has lost its magic, having run long enough to pull in all of the votes in can,” said Towery.
Kingston leads among all age groups except those age 65 and older. In that bracket, Perdue is ahead by two points. Among those who identify themselves as Republicans, Kingston leads by a 53-36 margin, according to InsiderAdvantage. But self-described “independent” voters support Perdue by seven percentage points, according to polling.
“The next round of ads could change the race,” said Towery. “But generally speaking attack ads launched going into the weekend before an election rarely change the outcome of a contest.
The runoff race was always expected to be a close one.
“But as of now Kingston appears to be clinging to a lead with momentum having moved in his direction,” said Towery.