Posted: 6:30 am Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway
A first post-primary poll gives U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston the edge over businessman David Perdue in Georgia’s closely-watched July 22 Republican Senate runoff.
The statewide survey by left-of-center Public Policy Polling gives Kingston 46 percent over Perdue’s 34 percent. The poll is the first in months to show Perdue in something other than first place, indicating that his surviving rival, a Savannah congressman, has picked up some support from ousted tea party candidates Karen Handel, and U.S. Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun.
Some 20 percent of voters are still undecided in the contest, which could help decide control of the U.S. Senate. Interestingly, Kingston has substantial advantages over Perdue among women voters and those who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.
The poll, which was conducted for the Democratically inclined guerrilla group Better Georgia, shows Democrat Michelle Nunn neck-and-neck with both potential GOP opponents. Nunn and Kingston were locked at 45 percent apiece, and Nunn led Perdue 48 percent to 46 percent.
The survey also showed a tight race for governor, with Gov. Nathan Deal in a 43-43 tie with Democrat Jason Carter. Libertarian Andrew Hunt was polling at 7 percent. The governor’s approval rating was at 38 percent while his disapproval rating was at 46 percent. That’s less than the 44 percent approval rating Deal logged in a recent AJC poll.
The poll’s Senate findings tracked with a recent survey by Rasmussen Reports, a GOP-leaning outfit. That poll, released last week, gave Nunn slight leads over both potential GOP matchups. The GOP-leaning polling outfit released data from another poll on Monday, putting Carter at 48 percent to Deal’s 41 percent.
The PPP automated telephone poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday and involved 803 voters. The Kingston versus Perdue question was asked of 410 GOP primary voters. The Rasmussen survey of 750 likely voters was conducted on May 21-22, 2014. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points.
Julianne Thompson, who co-chairs the Atlanta Tea Party, this morning endorsed U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, in his U.S. Senate runoff against businessman David Perdue.
Thompson was a major supporter of Karen Handel, who was eliminated from the contest in last week’s GOP primary.
The most interesting lines from Thompson, via a statement distributed by the Kingston campaign:
“We do not need someone to be another member of the Senate Country Club. We need courage…someone who is strong enough to fight for our principles in an atmosphere that is sometimes very difficult. We also need someone who is accessible and respects the fact that the people that elected him will hold him accountable.”
President Obama was not the only one taking a surprise Memorial Day trip to visit the troops. U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, visited troops overseas as well — though the details were withheld immediately for security reasons.
The bipartisan overseas delegation was led by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and included Reps. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla.; Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla.; Sean Maloney, D-N.Y.; and Pete Gallego, D-Texas.
Speaking of the 12th District race and the last white Democrat in the Deep South, Russ Bynum of the Associated Press, has turned up evidence that Republicans are making sure they don’t squander their chance to oust John Barrow with an off-hand remark from their candidate, Augusta businessman Rick Allen:
Allen’s campaign declined to make the candidate available for an interview after his primary win last week. Instead, it issued a prepared statement in which Allen promised to plunge straight into the fall race in the 12th District, which covers 19 counties and includes the cities of Augusta, Statesboro, Dublin and Vidalia.
“We can now take this fight directly to John Barrow and Barack Obama and that is what we are going to do starting right here, right now,” Allen said.
Hillary Rodham Clinton released the opening “author’s note” from her forthcoming memoir “Hard Choices.” A taste, via Politico:
“While my views and experiences will surely be scrutinized by followers of Washington’s long-running soap opera—who took what side, who opposed whom, who was up and who was down—I didn’t write this book for them. I wrote it for Americans and people everywhere who are trying to make sense of this rapidly changing world of ours, who want to understand how leaders and nations can work together and why they sometimes collide, and how their decisions affect all our lives …
“I wrote it for anyone anywhere who wonders whether the United States still has what it takes to lead. For me, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’ Talk of America’s decline has become commonplace, but my faith in our future has never been greater.”
Senate Republicans are debating whether to run on a new “Contract with America” this year. Politico’s report on the effort includes a shout-out to one of two Republicans in Georgia’s runoff for U.S. Senate:
Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia, a Republican battling in a two-person runoff for a Senate seat in the Peach State, has developed a six-point plan of proposals to bolster national defense, cut spending, push back on administration regulations, flatten the Tax Code and promote energy development. He also says the GOP should promote “workfare over welfare” programs, calling for measures such as work requirements for food stamp programs.
Kingston has distributed the plan to all GOP Senate candidates, but has yet to hear back from them.
But the original Contract author is not eager for a sequel. More from Politico:
“I don’t know that’s necessary this year,” Gingrich said in an interview. “I think they want to think about what they want to be positive about and what they want to do the first six months if they got the House and the Senate. I don’t know if I would try to turn that into a really formal structure at this point.”
Gingrich added: “They should be very careful.”
About the Authors
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He joined the newspaper in June 2012.
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.