AJC poll: Governor's race in virtual tie, David Perdue has slight lead for Senate

Jason Carter and Gov. Nathan Deal

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Jason Carter and Gov. Nathan Deal

Georgia's race for governor is in a dead heat, while Republican U.S. Senate hopeful David Perdue holds a small lead, according to a new poll of likely voters conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, garners 43 percent of likely voters, while Democrat Jason Carter holds 42 percent and Libertarian Andrew Hunt brings in 7 percent, including voters who were leaning toward one candidate.

Perdue notched 45 percent, compared with 41 percent for Democrat Michelle Nunn and 6 percent for Libertarian Amanda Swafford, including leaners.

Among voters who have definitely selected a choice, Deal leads Carter, 42 percent to 40 percent; and Perdue leads Nunn, 44 percent to 38 percent.

The poll's margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points. The statewide poll of 884 likely voters was conducted by New York-based Abt SRBI Inc. Monday through Thursday with live calls to a mix of land-line and cellphones.

Update 2:20 p.m.: The full crosstabs are below for your dissection. You will notice that African-Americans account for 24 percent of the sample, whereas they formed 28 percent of the electorate in 2010 and 30 percent in 2012 -- and Democrats are mounting a big mobilization effort in the hopes that the number stays closer to 30 in a midterm year.

The poll initially weighted African-Americans at 30 percent of the sample, then applied a fairly tight likely voter screen, removing respondents who indicated that they were less engaged in the race or less likely to vote. Once those respondents were filtered out, the African-American vote share shrank.

"A lot here is going to depend on turnout, and if this is any indication, the black vote overall is not fully mobilized at this point," said Mark Schulman, chief research officer at Abt SRBI. "And that’s critical."

We will be rolling out more on this poll, including the methodology details, during the next few days. Check myajc.com this afternoon for more and come back Sunday for a deeper look at the numbers. It's our exclusive look at the issues that are driving voters.