Posted: 10:58 am Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Two polls and three Republicans at top of U.S. Senate race 

By Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Two U.S. Senate polls released Thursday disagree about who’s on top, but they do concur on this: Georgia’s Republican race for Saxby Chambliss’ seat has been winnowed down to three candidates in the final two weeks of campaigning.

handel2

Karen Handel/AJC file

A Morris News Service/WAGA-TV poll, conducted by InsiderAdvantage, gives the week to the only woman in the GOP field. From Walter Jones of MNS:

Karen Handel has ridden a wave of growing support to pass Jack Kingston in the GOP Senate primary race to take second place and come within the margin of error with front-runner David Perdue….

U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, of Athens, and Phil Gingrey, of Marietta, remain rooted in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

In the latest poll, Perdue has the support of 22 percent; Handel, 21 percent; Kingston, 17 percent; Broun, 14 percent; and Gingrey, 12 percent. Three percent were split between underfunded newcomers Art Gardner and Derrick Grayson, and 11 percent were undecided.

The release of the MNS/WAGA poll precipitated the Kingston campaign to release what it called internal polling memo that put the Savannah congressman on top, and the others as follows:

kingstonnumbers

The Kingston campaign emphasized the following:

With less than three weeks to go until the Republican primary, Jack Kingston leads the crowded field. Kingston having the highest overall net positive opinion rating suggests that he still has room to grow. It is also important to note that this survey of likely Republican primary election voters was drawn from a sample of past Republican primary voters and new registrants. So far, this is the only published survey of this quality.

kingston2

Jack Kingston, AJC file

Read the entire Kingston memo here.

As that passage above implied, the methodology of the MNS/WAGA and the Kingston surveys differ significantly. The former included an Internet element:

InsiderAdvantage conducted the survey by automated telephone calls and online with Opinionsavvy on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Responses by 737 likely primary voters were selected at random to yield a 3.5 percent margin of error. The pollsters weighted the results to reflect the age, race and gender of the expected turnout.

The latter was conducted on more traditional lines:

This survey of 400 likely Republican primary election voters in the state of Georgia was conducted on April 28th and 29th, 2014. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers. Interview selection was random within predetermined election units from a sample of past Republican primary voters and new registrants. To increase coverage, this sample was supplemented with 80 interviews of cell-phone users. These units were structured to correlate with actual voter turnout in a statewide Republican primary election. This poll of 400 likely Republican primary election voters has an accuracy of +/- 4.9% at a 95% confidence interval.

Kingston will spend today doing a fly-around with U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials – with stops in Savannah, Macon and Atlanta. And new details are emerging about how much airtime of another kind the intend to put behind him.

FCC filings show that the Chamber is spending $537,000 on Atlanta broadcast television through May 20 on Kingston’s behalf. The Washington Post is reporting that the Chamber bought $32,000 worth of ads in Macon and Augusta “though those buys will likely increase.”

The basic numbers of each poll are roughly the same, and the differences could be explained by weighting – each survey’s guess about what role women, south Georgia and the Atlanta suburbs might play in the May 20 primary. They do seem to agree on the strength of businessman David Perdue.

But if indeed Handel has momentum, and Kingston is struggling to hold his own north of the Gnat Line, then we have a situation in which three Republican members of Congress could be knocked out of the contest in the first round. And that would send significant message to House Republicans in Washington.

***

In the coastal First Congressional District, there is a brewing spat over the ballot and the ABCs.

There are two unrelated Carters on the ballot in the Republican primary: Darwin, a farmer and consultant from Alma; and Buddy, a state senator from Pooler.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogA rule change this year mandated that candidates put their full names, or at least their given first initial, on the ballot. Nicknames are to be enclosed in quote marks. That means Buddy becomes E. L. “Buddy” Carter. A campaign spokesman said Secretary of State Brian Kemp assured Buddy Carter that his name would still appear first on the ballot, ahead of James Darwin Carter, as candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

But Darwin Carter qualified as simply Darwin Carter on the ballot — and thus in the first position. That’s seen as an advantage in a crowded primary.

Buddy Carter spokesman Jud Seymour said the campaign considered legal action but has decided not to sue:

“We’re disappointed that at some level there was a failure. And just, you know, it was just not done properly. And really it’s rewarding bad behavior.”

Secretary of State spokesman Jared Thomas said there isn’t much the office can do short of a court order. Election officials are bound by state rules to enter the names the way they appear in the voter registration system. And it was the Republican Party, and not the state, which handled the qualifying period. Besides, he said, early voting has already begun and ballots are printed.

“That order is determined by state election rules,” said Thomas. “And we’re adhering to that.”

***

Dipping into the 4th District congressional primary, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Thursday hosted a Peachtree Street fundraiser – “an evening of conversation” – on behalf of U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, who’s facing a strong challenge from former DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown. The gate minimum was $500.

***
Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington is hitting Gov. Nathan Deal again for refusing to release his tax returns.

Deal told us last week he would release his tax returns for the last three years, just as he had done with his tax returns ahead of his 2010 run. But his office has yet to release the documents, or even put a timetable on when they may be made public.

Pennington, who released his tax returns for the last five years last week, said he suspects Deal is hiding something. (Superintendent John Barge, another GOP contender, has also released his returns.) Said Pennington:

“Nathan won’t release his taxes. He won’t release his business records. And he won’t attend a debate. How is that transparency? More importantly, how is that leadership?”

***

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn was spotted in Washington on Thursday by an ever-present tracker, heading into Capitol Hill power lunch spot Bistro Bis. A spokesman did not respond to requests for comment as to why Nunn was in D.C.

But the Republican tracking machine was not to be denied. A note from Leslie Shedd of the Georgia GOP:

Michelle Nunn did her favorite thing this week – she went back to her hometown of Washington DC for more swanky fundraisers with Washington insiders and to speak at the elite high school she attended, the National Cathedral School. Former graduates of the $36,000 per year private school include Queen Noor of Jordan, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and former Vice President Al Gore’s daughters.

Tsk, tsk. Republicans engaging in class warfare. Next they’ll be pushing for a raise in the minimum wage.

Nunn, by the way, has let it be known that she’ll be at Adamsville Recreation Center in Atlanta this morning — to cast her early ballot in the Democratic primary and meet with the press.

36 comments
Vic74
Vic74

I live in Kingston's district and I can tell you he has been nothing but "A Follow The Leader Non-Represintive Congress Man" If that is not enough not to vote for him I remember when he ran for the first time one of his slogans was that he was going to Washington to make a change and "NOT" I repeat NOT a Career Politician.

nick1234
nick1234

Class warfare at its finest. 

NorthAtlanta
NorthAtlanta

" Tsk, tsk. Republicans engaging in class warfare. Next they’ll be pushing for a raise in the minimum wage."

Wow, you write this and honestly expect to be perceived as non-partisan?  I don't think any intelligent person would place a bet that any of you ever vote republican.

GaBlue
GaBlue

"Deal told us last week he would release his tax returns for the last three years, just as he had done with his tax returns ahead of his 2010 run. But his office has yet to release the documents, or even put a timetable on when they may be made public."

_____________________________________________________________


A misunderstanding, I'm sure.  Gov. Deal has pretty much erased $FOUR MILLION in personal debt, on a mere $135K/yr salary (plus perks and free housing). He's a GENIUS! 


He's going to set up some personal money management seminars for the rest of us to share his thrifty tips and crafty tricks!


Any day now, surely.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

"Michelle Nunn did her favorite thing this week – she went back to her hometown of Washington DC for more swanky fundraisers with Washington insiders and to speak at the elite high school she attended, the National Cathedral School. Former graduates of the $36,000 per year private school include Queen Noor of Jordan, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and former Vice President Al Gore’s daughters."

The ideal candidate for the moonbat liberals of this state:  Nominate someone who is totally out of touch with the Georgia resident, who claims to be "fighting" for the poor yet sends kids to private schools and will become a sacrifical lamb to the more superior con candidate.

Congrats GA libs you have done it again.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Career politicians 3 of the 5 should be rejected due to their failures. 

Purdue and Handel  --  easy to see the best choice there.

Best thing Broun and Gingrey, both BS idiots will have to rip off Medicaid and Medicare for their next gravy train

Falcaints
Falcaints

Handel is a joke, God help this state.

DS
DS

"Two U.S. Senate polls released Thursday disagree..."

I don't put much stock in either poll. I'll wait until a more credible poll is announced.

honested
honested

Only a few weeks until the comedy is over and the seven dwarfs are reduced to just one loser.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

 "Tsk, tsk. Republicans engaging in class warfare. Next they’ll be pushing for a raise in the minimum wage."

Now, I don't care who yar, that's funny!

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

I don't care what the polls say, dah centrist has assured me karen handel has no chance! Now who you gonna believe, some professional polling organization, or the know-all, sees-all, never been wrong on a prediction dah centrist?

I know he doesn't take my advice or read my comments, but he really should write one of his strongly worded letters and get these poll results corrected.

VolatileVoice
VolatileVoice

Be interested to hear how many children of REPUBLICANs attend the "elite" National Cathedral School. In DC,  that's practically considered the "local" school for politician's children. I'm betting this is a glass house situation where Republicans need to be careful about throwing stones.

findog
findog

unfortunately Georgia is not too keen on electing women to top tier positions like Governor or Senator

TBS
TBS

Broun needs to go ahead and unveil that campaign commercial with him being depicted riding a dinosaur down 316 on his way to the ATL. 

RadicalRuralDem
RadicalRuralDem

@NorthAtlanta  It's an opinion piece: I don't think he - or any writer in the same situation, for that matter - cares whether or not they're perceived as "non-partisan".

honested
honested

@NorthAtlanta  

How so?

The only reason we have allowed republicans to drive us into the hole we're in since 2001 is a lack of adequate CLASS WARFARE.

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, I knew you would get a kick out of this one!

RadicalRuralDem
RadicalRuralDem

@MiltonMan  Yes, because she had control over the fact that her father was a Senator - which made her a security risk - and that her family spent most of their time living in D.C. as a result of his job. Unless you're conjecturing that she would have learned something about domestic and foreign policy from residing in Georgia while chomping on bits of red clay, your point isn't one.

And how RICH that someone with the name "MiltonMan" wants to lecture anyone else in Georgia on being "out of touch" or tries to pretend that he understands the plight of the working poor any more so. Good joke, now off to the country club with you.

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@Falcaints Please expand, since you have obviously achieved more than Handel I'm sure you are in a position to tell us ALL of her shortcomings.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

...and the one loser will take Michelle to the wood shed - does not say much about your loser candidate.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@AuntieChrist centrist???  you seeing things auntie???  I checked this blog twice and found no post from centrist.  But you???  Up & down there is good ole auntie throwing around  those Mr. Ed trans-fat liberal french fries. 

Don't be shy, give us your honest opinion.  We're waiting..

Nothing special here



EdUktr
EdUktr

@VolatileVoice  

Democrats don't send their own kids to unionized public schools if they can at all help it. But then again—neither do the teachers' union bosses!

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@TBS Accompanied, no doubt, by pistol-packing Jesus, with His 12 well-armed militia members, formerly called "The Disciples."

MichaelWarren
MichaelWarren

@RadicalRuralDem i THINK if Nunn can show she is more Georgia than DC, she can win this race. But doing DC fundraisers like that with people who dont have Georgia's interest at heart wont cut it.  She is doing the same thing the lady in Kentucky going against MCConnell is doing and she is losing ground daily. Hopefully Michelle can speak and do what Georgians want her to do. And not be another vote for Harry Reid. She is by far more qualified to be Senator than anyone else running. And while Republicans will still hold the House and gain Senate Seats as expected this could be one they lose

honested
honested

@MiltonMan  

I you will pull your head out of.......well, wherever it is you hide it......you might learn you have that contest viewed in a backwards fashion.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@blah blah blah Nothing special here

Yep, that pretty well sums up your comment. In fact that sums up all your comments, and you.  (Of course I am not referring to your special ed classes, you keep those up, OK?????!!!!!!)

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@EdUktr @VolatileVoice Gosh, who knew. The puppies pushing for charter schools, and private school vouchers, has all been for the benefit of children of Democrats. Bipartisanship lives!!

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@AuntieChrist - no opinion???  


Come on now, everyone on this page is waiting to read your insight.  


So, tell us why are republicans leading the polls???  


Don't go Mr. Ed on us, give us YOUR opinion..


Nothing special here

honested
honested

@Retired-Soldier @honested@findog

The Fulton County thing is still baffling.

The SofS race was the luck of a wrong-wing wave.

What did she accomplish of value to the Public in either?

How did she do in the last Governor's race?

How much did she COST the Komen Foundation?

Is that sort of kook really who you would have represent us in Washington?

Retired-Soldier
Retired-Soldier

@honested @Retired-Soldier@findog Come on guy, you are as bad as Jay "truth" Carney in the D.C follies. You make an absurd statement and then can't back it up and continue to put forth more nonsense.


She won county commission in an overwhelmingly democratic county and then wins a statewide position. I guess your candidate thinks the U.S. Senate is an entry level political position. Give me a break. 

honested
honested

@Retired-Soldier @honested@findog 

Handel managed to 'float to leadership' in the Fulton County Commission and then was accidentally elected Secretary of State in the wrong-wing takeover of 2002.

Now if you want to speak of public service including both elective office and other endeavors, I believe Karen Handel is left lacking as I don't believe she has done anything other than what is in the direct best interest of Karen Handel.

I welcome you to correct me.