Poll shows Kingston back in 2nd

Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:03 PM
Last updated 7:22 PM
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ATLANTA -- A poll released Thursday shows Jack Kingston regaining second place from Karen Handel with David Perdue alone in the lead for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Perdue has 27 percent, Kingston 19, Handel 17, Paul Broun 10, Phil Gingrey 9 and 18 percent either undecided or opting for an unnamed candidate. It has a 2.9 percent margin of error, meaning Handel and Kingston are effectively tied, as are Broun and Gingrey.

“For the moment, Jack Kingston seems to have momentum on his side,” said pollster Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage.

Kingston, a Savannah congressman, had held second place in polls for months until overtaken recently by Handel, Georgia’s former secretary of state. But then he got the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- and the television ads the organization began running for him -- and he started attacking Perdue.

The attacks may not have harmed Perdue, who hasn’t given up the lead all year. But they may have strengthened Kingston by blunting some of the mud thrown at him, especially as he contends for business-minded voters with Perdue, the former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General.

Kingston’s campaign credits his momentum to shoe-leather campaigning and endorsements.

“He has garnered the support of thousands of grassroots conservatives, more than 300 elected officials, and leaders in the national conservative movement such as Sean Hannity and Fair Tax architect John Linder,” said campaign spokesman Chris Crawford.

InsiderAdvantage conducted the survey of 1,182 likely GOP primary voters by phone and online Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for Morris News and Fox5 of Atlanta. The results were weighted for age, race and gender to reflect the 2010 primary turnout.

“The issue is whether the attack ads between Kingston and Perdue will turn this into a ‘two-person race’ in the minds of voters, or whether these two candidates will hurt each other, with Handel picking up their lost votes,” said Towery.

Based on who is responding in the survey as being likely to vote in the primary before the polls close Tuesday night, Towery predicts a small turnout dominated by older voters. Kingston and Perdue do best among older voters, so that could help them.

But since the public isn’t paying much attention to the primary, candidates need to remind their supporters to actually get to the polls and cast a ballot, something Handel has experience doing after running two other statewide campaigns. Kingston has only run in a congressional district, and Perdue has never run at all.

The poll also shows Gov. Nathan Deal easily winning his primary for re-election with 58 percent to 14 percent for former Dalton Mayor David Pennington and 7 percent for State Superintendent of Schools John Barge. One in five voters remain undecided about that race.

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southern2 05/15/14 - 07:24 pm
Can't vote for Perdue because

Can't vote for Perdue because of the Sonny (ran on a lie as governor) kinfolk issue.

Can't vote for Deal because he had the power to stop the GRU takeover but offered zero support for the wishes of the Augusta citizens.

Can't vote for HBA because of her financial woes.

Can't vote for Kingston because he has already been in DC for over 10 years and should come home. (sorry, I'm for term limits any way you can get them)

Not many left.

itsanotherday1 05/15/14 - 07:43 pm
I feel your apathy southern,

I feel your apathy southern, though I can't hold the sins of Sonny against Perdue.

deestafford 05/15/14 - 11:02 pm
I didn't like the mail out I got from Kingston the other day...

I didn't like the mail out I got from Kingston the other day doing nothing but cut and pasting some newspaper pieces about Perdue business dealings with no explanations or facts. When you run a business or organization and it goes bankrupt shortly after you took over it could be because the powers that be there want someone to handle the situation with the least amount of damage.

I would have no objection with either of the five being the next senator but I think Perdue would be the best as we need some new blood with business experience up in DC. Sometimes folks such as Kingston can be too beholding to the good ol' boys to be as effective as they should.

Like I say, I'll support either of the three over Nunn.

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