Both Gov. Nathan Deal and Republican Senate nominee David Perdue have a shot at winning their respective races straight-up on Tuesday, thus potentially avoiding costly runoffs. This is based on the final InsiderAdvantage survey of 1,463 likely registered voters conducted October 30 through November 2. The poll utilized IVR phone, online and mobile devices to reach respondents. It has a margin of error of 2.6% and a confidence level of 95%. Crosstabs at the bottom of the page.
InsiderAdvantage CEO/Fox5 Political Analyst Matt Towery:
The GOP candidates gained momentum since our last poll. In the gubernatorial contest Nathan Deal is close to reaching the level that could allow him to escape a runoff. His improvement comes from independent voters who now favor him over Jason Carter and a huge improvement with female voters who now favor Deal by a point or so.
We expect Libertarian Andrew Hunt to outperform past nominees by his party. But our guess is that he will garner closer to four percent of the vote. Any combination of a decreased Libertarian performance and a movement of the majority of undecided voters to Deal could get the Republican to the magic 50% plus one vote needed to win outright.
In the Senate race Perdue has overcome a slight deficit in our last survey and has surged to 48%. Nunn is at 45% with the Libertarian at 3%. This leaves 5 percent of the vote plus a likely one or one-half percent decline by Swafford in the actual election. That leaves plenty of votes from which Perdue could conceivably pull off an outright victory.
A few quick observations about the Tuesday vote and this poll:
Our poll continues to weight African-Americans at or above 30% of the overall vote. If that percentage ends up at 32% Tuesday evening, then runoffs are more likely. Obviously anything below 30% would increase chances for a GOP victory in both races.
We have some reason to believe GOP voter intensity is not as strong as one would expect. The most likely cause is the fact than many voters don’t follow politics or political news closely and some Republican voters are even assuming that GOP nominees will win their contests. Hence, some may not feel the need to go to the polls Tuesday. We will have a better idea as to GOP turnout by the middle of the day tomorrow.
But while intensity may not be as strong among Republicans, both Deal and Perdue might be benefitting slightly from a bit of a last-minute national GOP wave that appears to be developing. We surveyed President Obama’s approval rating in Georgia in this poll. It was:
Approve Obama Job Performance: 44%
Disapprove Obama job performance: 54%
This is pretty much follows our past approval ratings for Obama in Georgia. But it is not near his lowest levels that we have polled and suggests that both Nunn and Carter probably have a firm base of at least 44% of the vote to rely upon. It also pours some cold water on the idea that there is some huge GOP wave developing in Georgia.
That 44% base might be reinforced in our question concerning the direction Georgia is headed.
We asked if Georgia was headed in the right direction as to government, the economy, education and similar issues. The responses were:
Right Track: 36%
Wrong Track: 44%
That is hardly an overwhelming opinion in either direction. It could account for why Nunn and Carter are settled into the mid-forty percent range. But it could also explain why it has taken so long for Deal to reach 47% in our surveys and why Perdue remains under 50% in our last poll.
Finally, be prepared for a crazy night of voting trends on Tuesday. Early numbers may well come from south Georgia or from the mountain areas where Deal and Perdue will be running well into the 60-percent plus range. I doubt these races will really start to narrow until the largest counties of Fulton, DeKalb, and Cobb come in. That will be very late in the evening. For Republicans it will likely be a slow drop in their percentages with Democrats hanging on to every last number, hoping to push their races into a runoff.