GOP polls are all over the map

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So who’s leading in Georgia’s Republican primary for governor?

Pick a poll.  With the flood of surveys released in recent days, there’s probably one of them that shows your candidate is ahead.

Here’s the most recent lineup of poll numbers:

  • Insider Advantage/WSB-TV:  Karen Handel 24 percent, Nathan Deal 16 percent, John Oxendine 15 percent, Eric Johnson 13 percent.
  • Rasmussen:  Handel and Deal 25 percent apiece, Oxendine 20 percent, Johnson 13 percent.
  • Mason-Dixon/AJC: Oxendine 31 percent, Handel 23 percent, Deal 18 percent, Johnson 6 percent.
  • Magellan: Handel 32 percent, Oxendine and Deal 18 percent apiece, Johnson 12 percent.

Which poll is correct?  That’s the kicker.  Primary elections are generally hard to poll accurately because of their volatility, and the widely varying results of these polls are a good indication of just how volatile the GOP primary is.

”I don’t have any independent polling, but I think this race is still completely fluid,” said a political consultant who’s not working for any of the gubernatorial campaigns.  “I think there’s a huge swath of voters still undecided and this race could shift dramatically all the way up to Tuesday.”

“No one has really penetrated a clear message,” the consultant added.  “It’s completely up for grabs.”

The one thing all the polls agree on is that Johnson is in fourth place, although he appears to have broken out of single-digit territory.

Johnson held a news conference at his Atlanta headquarters Thursday afternoon and called on the other Republican candidates to stop running attack ads and distributing negative mail pieces.

“Attacks on our fellow Republicans aren’t going to create one job, they aren’t going to stop one teacher furlough day, they’re not going to lower taxes for one Georgia family,” Johnson said. “It’s time for us to focus on the issues that matter and that is why I am calling on my opponents to put an immediate end to the attacks.”

Johnson’s call is likely to go unheeded as campaigning intensifies in the final four days before Tuesday’s primary.

Another area of unanimity in the recent state polling concerns the Democratic primary for governor.

All the surveys have former governor Roy Barnes leading Attorney General Thurbert Baker by 30 or more points, with the support for Barnes at more than the 50 percent level necessary to win without a runoff.

Barnes was endorsed by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during a Friday morning media event at City Hall.

“He has shown the steel in his spine to do the things that are hard,” Reed said.  “He knows more about government than anyone else and that is what we need right now.”

Barnes said he would work with Reed and the city on important transportation issues, “and yes, that includes mass transit and rapid rail, something we have been afraid to speak of.”

© 2010 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Eric Johnson , governor\'s race , John Oxendine , karen handel , Nathan Deal , Polls , roy barnes