The latest “SuperPoll” conducted by InsiderAdvantage and OpinionSavvy of likely voters in the July 22 Georgia GOP primary runoff between Jack Kingston and David Perdue shows that the race has tightened significantly.
The survey of 1,278 likely voters and voters who have voted early was conducted by phone and online July 7-9. It is weighted for age, race and gender. The “SuperPoll” has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7% and a confidence level of 95%. Crosstabs at the bottom of the story.
Jack Kingston: 42%
David Perdue: 41%
Analysis from InsiderAdvantage CEO/Fox 5 Political Analyst Matt Towery:
“The Kingston campaign has played what might be called in football terms the old ‘prevent defense.’ An overly cautious approach, in other words.
“It’s not working. Because both campaigns and the groups that support them have TV attack ads that look so much alike – grainy or unflattering still pictures of the opponent, with nasty allegations or questions as the narrative – the public is tuning them out. Instead, likely voters in this runoff, who are highly motivated and more likely to keep up with political news, are seeing unflattering reports in print and in broadcast media about Jack Kingston; about donations to him by a foreign national who served several years in federal prison, and about that person’s employees, all of which has become the subject of a potential federal investigation.
“While there has been no report of actual wrongdoing by Kingston, words like ‘investigation’ and the mention of institutions like the FBI have found their way into both print and broadcast news reports. And Perdue supporters have started to run ads hammering Kingston over the contributions. The Kingston campaign clings to a very precarious one point lead, which is within the poll’s margin of error,” said Towery.
“Kingston has dropped nearly 11 points since our last survey, and clearly Perdue has momentum on his side. To reverse this situation, the Kingston camp must do two things. First, they must revamp their ads in order to have more impact. Second and just as important, they must utilize the very same turnout system used by Karen Handel in the primary.
“Handel has endorsed Kingston, but the Kingston camp can’t assume that an endorsement announcement made weeks ago can translate into votes today. To date, one poorly produced Handel robocall has reportedly been made to potential voters. Handel’s get-out-the-vote effort was targeted and very effective for a campaign lacking funds to fight it out on TV. Kingston must target those same voters using Handel’s endorsement, and do so in the same in areas where his many other endorsements might make a difference,” he said.
Towery concludes: “As for Perdue, his path is pretty clear. He needs to continue hammering Kingston over these controversial campaign donations and to use media reports to bolster the theory that the issue could cost Kingston votes and perhaps a victory against Democrat Michelle Nunn in November.
And he needs to find more creative ways to tie this issue into his theme that the GOP needs an ‘outsider’ as its nominee.
“In the end, this race should be more about voter turnout than TV ads. But the old fashioned attack ads presented by both sides have allowed media reports concerning the Kingston donation matter to become the more important element in this race. For now this is a dead-even contest,” he said.
The poll also examines results in the various regions of the state. For that and more visit www.insideradvantage.com later today and for more information about the effectiveness of online and telephone surveys visit www.opinionsavvy.com.