New Poll: Deal, Carter Headed to a Runoff?

“Stuck in the mud” is how a new poll released Friday describes Georgia’s gubernatorial race between incumbent Nathan Deal and state Sen. Jason Carter.

The new InsiderAdvantage/Fox 5/Morris News Super Poll shows Deal and Carter at 43 percent, with Libertarian Andrew Hunt at 4 percent.

“This race seems stuck in the mud and still appears headed for a runoff,” said pollster Matt Towery. “It should be noted that our poll weights African-American turnout at a higher rate than most other surveys. If that turnout is lower, Deal will take a bigger lead.”

Towery said the poll’s biggest news is that Carter has 32 percent of the white vote in our survey.

“That reaches the magic number that Democrats have failed to receive in recent statewide races,” he said.

In the Senate race, David Perdue leads Michelle Nunn, 47 percent to 43 percent, with Libertarian Amanda Swafford at 3 percent.

“Nunn has gained ground in recent weeks,” said Towery. “A key to this was the Perdue ad made by his campaign, using a leaked Nunn campaign memo. Perdue’s ad suggested that the non-profit Nunn ran aided terrorists. The ad appears to have blown up on the Perdue campaign.”


  1. jh says:

    How is it that IA weights blacks so high (32.1%), but then ~20% of them support Republicans, unlike SurveyUSA/Landmark (around 10%)?

    • Harry says:

      Deal has maybe earned a higher level of black support than usual? He seems to be open and sensitive to the concerns of the black community, and maybe some of that community don’t approve that the Democrats in a closed process nominated two privileged and relatively inexperienced white kids for the highest state offices.

      • jh says:

        I appreciate his outreach with Ludacris, but I was seriously asking why InsiderAdvantage’s numbers are so different than other pollsters.

        • Harry says:

          Deal’s involvement with addressing concerns have gone well beyond Ludacris. Maybe IA took this into account.

  2. northside101 says:

    The 32% black figure seems high—data from SOS shows it was 28% of the total turnout in 2010 midterm cycle—but there also a lot of voters in the “others” category (perhaps voters who list themselves as multiracial or no race at all)—I think Mark Rountree has pointed this out before, certainly some of the “others” in voter registration totals for Georgia would be black. In a state where 58% of the registered voters are white, it would hardly seem unreasonable (when combining Asians, Hispanics and blacks) for 32% of the total turnout to be minority.

    The 32% white support for Carter is interesting as it is possible he could win with just a third of the white vote (assuming blacks are about 30% of the statewide total next month). Barnes got close to a third of the white vote against Sonny Perdue in 2002, but back then blacks accounted for only 23% of the state’s total turnout, so Barnes ended up losing by about 5 percentage points to Perdue. I don’t recall any exit polls in Georgia for 2012 but not likely Obama won even as much as 25% of the white vote—more likely around 23% would be mu guess.

    If polls are to be believed, we may also have a fair amount of “Perdue/Carter” voters this fall, akin to 1998, when more than a few Georgians split their ticket, casting votes for Barnes (governor) and Republican Paul Coverdell (US Senate). In that election, Barnes got about 53% of the vote and Coverdell 52%. Or think back to 2000, when the second President Bush got 55% in Georgia and Zell Miller got 58% in his special Senate election after Coverdell died. Or more recently, 2012, when Mitt Romney got 55% in CD 12 and John Barrow got 54%.

    • I would argue that the “black” on the secretary of state file is probably a floor for what it actually is. Can’t imagine that many people who aren’t black would register that way. But lots of others (multi-racial?), unknown (lot of unknown which corresponds with a general uptick in black for the known) and even half/white-half/black voters who might be on the rolls as white.

      32% actually seems pretty fair to me for what a poll respondent would say.

      My estimate for white share of vote…
      2012 Obama 21
      2010 Barnes 19
      2008 Obama 23
      2006 Taylor 21
      2004 Kerry 23
      2002 Barnes 31 (if this election was re-run with current demographics Barnes would win 52-44)

  3. jh says:

    If I try to fix the IA polls by changing it from 66.6% Carter Black vote (32.1*.66=21.4) to something like 93.5%, Carter gains 8.5 points. Plus 43.4 he got on the final poll, and that’s 51.9. (assuming my math is right)

    • Bobloblaw says:

      Yeah right. You think Carter will get 51.9% youre insane and lying only to yourself

      You sound EXACTLY like Unskewed polls back in 2012. Sure Romney wins if GOP turn out is 35% of the electorate.

  4. Bobloblaw says:

    “”“A key to this was the Perdue ad made by his campaign, using a leaked Nunn campaign memo. Perdue’s ad suggested that the non-profit Nunn ran aided terrorists. The ad appears to have blown up on the Perdue campaign.”””

    This is why I dont pay attention to Matt Towery. This is nonsense.

  5. Cowabunga says:

    Face it, every Republican I know doesn’t know how to address it without getting retaliation from the power brokers. Deal is an absolute drag on the ticket. His screwball excuses and the arrogance of his staff seem to have no end. Stupid people will vote for the ethically deficient slime and pragmatic people be forced to vote for a person they probably don’t align with politically.

    Hunt can’t win and won’t win. If the worst thing I hear about Carter is the name Carter, he has my vote. I’m tired of liars.

    • David C says:

      The fact that the Deal camp seems to want to spend half their time running against Jimmy seems not to be a good sign for them. I’d be curious what the latter’s rating among the voters is now, given a few months ago he polled at 2 to 1 favorable impression among Georgians. And if the average Georgian knows one thing about JC, it’s that he’s Sunday School incorruptable, even if you disagree with him. That’s not something Deal wants to be running against.

    • eburke says:

      I have voted for Republicans most of the time, but I tend to agree with you. I am embarrassed by the current Governor and will vote for an honest person with whom I may not agree but who I genuinely believe has the State’s best interest at heart. I am one of those traditional Republican voters who will vote for some Democrats this time around because of the arrogance of the Governor and his staff and all those who cover up and make excuses for him.

      • HueyMahl says:

        Agree 100%. I usually vote republican also (can’t remember last democratic vote, maybe Clinton the first time). But Deal is a crook. I’ll vote for Carter. And I don’t really love Perdue. The outsourcing thing is a big deal to me. May vote libertarian as a protest, may vote Nunn. Have not decided yet.

    • Bull Moose says:

      I feel like a broken record as it comes to expressing my dismay with Deal, and I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and only express and think positive things.

      I read a great bio piece in the Atlanta Magazine about Jason Carter. Here’s a link to it:

      Additionally, when you look at what Carter wants to do as Governor, I don’t know how you could be too much opposed to it. He wants to clean up the corruption and waste in state government and invest the savings in our education system so that we indeed continue to be one of the leading states in the south.

      Personally, I think it will be great to have someone serving as Governor who hasn’t been entrenched or jaded from years of serving in elected office serving as our Governor. We don’t need a career politician, we need an actual leader and someone who views public service from the view of a servant leader. There was a time when people used to run for office because they wanted to do something, rather than just occupy a seat. We need to get back to that expectation of public service from our elected officials.

    • David C says:

      Yeah, if there’s one person black Louisianans are listening to, it’s a guy who was a Republican until he wanted to run in a majority black district, changed parties to be a Democrat, then changed back again last year so he can try and run for statewide office in a very Republican state.

        • jh says:

          I think Fran Millar and Brian Kemp resonate more. In the wrong way. See Kemp’s collapsing numbers via SurveyUSA.

            • taylor says:

              If DOJ asked Georgia to submit voting changes for pre-clearance, even though it is no longer required by federal law, I suspect your response would be different. I mean, I know Georgia would not have anything to hide. So maybe there’s nothing wrong with Eric Holder issuing a standing request.

              • Harry says:

                And maybe Eric Holder would have nothing to hide? You guys think your little PR games will accrue to your benefit, but maybe not!

  6. Bobloblaw says:

    I believe the 43-43, I dont believe Carter is getting 32% of the white vote or Deal is getting 20% of the black vote. Again the posters here get caught up in demographics.

    • jh says:

      That’s what the polls are showing, lower 30s for Carter, SurveyUSA, Landmark, now IA. Of course the polls were wrong in 2002 when Barnes lost.

      Still, no tea party fever in 2014 (Southeast GA favorite Kingston knocked out), unattractive governor, the white GOP vote could be tempered this fall.

  7. OK, being analytical about this….

    If it’s ultimately accurate that 32% of the white vote goes to Carter as the IA poll states (which, to be very clear, I don’t think it will), then it’s hardly a race stuck in the mud. That scenario would be a decisive win for Carter, and here is why:

    1). about 93% of black voters will ultimately vote for Carter. If you assume that 32% of the electorate will be black as AI does (which I think is also too high, but that’s another story), then that’s a NET 29.76% to the Carter camp. (Note: the IA poll has 18% of blacks voting for Deal, not the 93% that I estimate here. But no one, including AI, actually believes 18% will really vote this way, barring some bizarre turn of events).

    2). the IA poll has just 10 people out of 947 participants being non-black/non-white. Realistically however, 4% or 5% or so of all voters will fall into this “other” category (Asian, Hispanic, Indian, etc). If Carter wins two-thirds of this “Other” group (66%), then that would add a NET 3% out of 5% to the Carter camp.

    3). if white voters are 64% of the electorate (which is close to the 2010 % of this group), and if Carter were to win 32% of these white voters as the IA poll shows, that would be a net 20.48% to the Carter camp.

    +29.76% (net from black voters)
    + 3% (net from ‘other voter’s)
    + 20.48% (net from white voters)
    …would equal 53.24% to Carter.

    If 32% of white voters vote for a Democratic candidate, that would not be a situation of sticking mud. That would be a new governor with no runoff.

    Finally, I don’t write this as criticism at all, though I don’t agree with all the findings and conclusions. In the big picture there are some pretty important findings here that we have likewise been finding at Landmark, as I have written here previously.

      • One other revision: my post above read, “Note: the IA poll has 18% of blacks voting for Deal, not the 93% that I estimate here. But no one, including AI, actually believes 18% will really vote this way, barring some bizarre turn of events.”

        I mistakenly inverted the black % for Gov Deal, of course. It should have read, “Note: the IA poll has 18% of blacks voting for Deal, not the **7%** that I estimate here.”

        • Bobloblaw says:

          IA also has 32% of the electorate black. Like Ive said 100 times. The headline numbers are right most likely. The internals are wrong, but they offset one another.

          • I was simply quoting The AI poll at 32%. Landmark polls do not project the black vote to be this high (32%)… We are estimating 29-30 pct.

            That said, neither is right or wrong, and both could be reasonable assumptions. But 24-26%, as seen in national pollsters’ surveys, is pretty unlikely. Those projections are just too low to stand to reason at this stage.

    • Cowabunga says:

      It’s almost a moot point. The polling details really don’t matter because no one wants to ask if they think Deal is a crook. Deal should be soaring but he’s an embarrassment. They GAGOP should let his sorry rear end dangle on the line. Additionally, The one statewide candidate who has avoided Deal is polling quite well.

      • jh, thanks for the question.

        The Rasmussen poll has problems in my opinion. They have the female vote at only 52% when it’s not been 52% in decades. It been 54-56% ever since 1996 — which is where reliable data essentially begins.

        So they are oversampling males, who give substantial margins to Republicans, while under-sampling females — who are giving double digit margins to females. That changes things.

        I like Rasmussen because they stay in the field all the time. You can get a lot of relative data by keeping up with them by just comparing between weeks and days. But they miss in correctly hitting the Georgia demographics — like most others seem to be doing.

        Ultimately, nothing is impossible in any direction. But 32% would be an astronomical political feat given that the Democrats are being laid to waste by most voters across the country right now — and especially so among Georgia white voters.

        A runoff is highly likely — not a win. The operative question now is what order the candidates finish.

    • Cowabunga says:

      Deal is an embarrassment, but the names of Chris Riley and Brian Robinson are equally nauseating. Georgia will be served well with their vids of presence in government.

  8. MikeS says:

    I have pretty high confidence that the GOP percentage of the Black vote will be either side of 10%. The key will be what percentage of the White vote goes GOP versus Dem. If the Gop gets 70%, then they will probably win. If the Democrats get much more than 33%, then they might pick up statewide races without a run off.

  9. Will Durant says:

    The race under discussion is Deal vs Carter and you poll mavens can carry on to your heart’s content on black and white, red or blue, but I think there are enough people like myself that think we think for ourselves that defy your boxes. This Governor is damaged goods and though there are a lot of followers and party hacks praising his fine clothes… damn that conjured up a bad image. I have lived in this state with one-party rule from both sides and barring a Damascus Road type of intervention will now vote against it again in this instance.

    I vote for or against the person, every time, though I haven’t always done so. I know the polls factor in independents, but is enough consideration given to those who still label themselves R or D but dare to cross the line on an individual basis? Just a couple of days ago a comment on another thread was that we all should “stick with their party’s candidate as a matter of principle”. Obviously I hold an opposite view of what may be principled.

Comments are closed.