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One of David Perdue’s biggest challenges in the Georgia Senate race is getting noticed. Casting babies as your primary opponents is one way to go about it.
The former CEO of Dollar General talks a lot about his middle Georgia upbringing and business career in a five-minute video that Perdue’s campaign says has a “significant online advertising buy” behind it. His cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue, even makes a cameo.
But the image that will stick is the one above: Crying babies wearing shirts and wielding props identifying them as the other four top contenders in the race: doctors Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun with stethoscopes, Karen Handel in pearls, Jack Kingston with a set of glasses.
Do not dismiss this image out of hand.
In many ways, this is a page torn from Sonny Perdue’s 2002 playbook. Think back to a long biographical commercial that the Republican candidate for governor starred in. Fred Davis, the California political ad guru, did that one — and is the fellow behind David Perdue’s on-screen debut.
Sonny Perdue couldn’t get his on TV except during the wee hours. But incorporated in the lengthy video was the image of a giant rat stalking the state Capitol, dubbed “King Roy,” which became a hit on the GOP Tupperware circuit.
It’s likely that the crybabies, if they catch on, will see significant airtime. David Perdue has more money to play with than his cuz did.
But David Perdue has a lot of work to do over the next three-and-a-half months, according to a poll of GOP primary voters put out this morning by Citizens United Political Victory Fund, a group that has endorsed Broun in the race. The poll finds Gingrey in front, with 19 percent of the vote.
Trailing Gingrey are Handel (14 percent), Broun (13 percent), Kingston (11 percent), Perdue (8 percent), Eugene Yu (2 percent), Derrick Grayson (1 percent) and Art Gardner (less than 1 percent). The real winner is “undecided” with 28 percent of the vote.
Gingrey’s strength comes in part from his high name ID, which is a whopping 80 percent among Metro Atlanta likely GOP primary voters. Perdue actually has better name ID than Broun and Kingston — a similar finding to a recent AJC poll — and a likely result of his famous cousin.
Some other findings: 16 percent of voters believe Broun to be the most conservative candidate, to 11 percent for Gingrey. And 62 percent want Georgia’s next senator to work closely with Ted Cruz.
The poll, by Kellyanne Conway’s “the polling company”, was conducted Jan. 31 – Feb. 1 of 600 likely Republican primary voters across the state, with a 3.9 percent margin of error. The topline data are here.
Daniel Malloy is the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington Correspondent, covering the Georgia Congressional delegation and other D.C. goings-on that affect the state since 2011. He's a zealous fan and proud graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.