Another poll puts David Perdue at head of GOP pack for U.S. Senate

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Yet another poll has placed former Dollar General CEO David Perdue at the head of a GOP pack of U.S. Senate candidates, underlining the value of ready money in a cash-strapped campaign.

The poll was commissioned by Channel 2 Action News and conducted March 23-24 by the GOP partnership of Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone Communications. The survey measured 600 likely GOP primary voters, with an MOE of -/+ 4 percentage points. The raw numbers:

-- U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston and Paul Broun, 15 percent;

-- U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, who once led the field in a Landmark/Rosetta poll, drops to 12.5 percent;

-- and former secretary of state Karen Handel at 10 percent.

From the press release:

"It's clear that Perdue's strategic decision to invest in an early television media buy is paying off," said Mark Rountree, President of Landmark Communications, Inc. "His ads have had an impact on voters. In fact, the two candidates who have invested in television ads, Perdue and Kingston, have seen the largest increase in support among voters."

"It is obvious that David Perdue has bought himself instant name identification with a massive statewide media blitz," said John Garst, President of Rosetta Stone Communications, LLC. "His numbers are a steady 20% across all demographic and geographic lines. He has no obvious base of support among any one particular group.”

Translated, that last point from Garst means that Perdue’s support is wide, but may not be terribly deep. Look for more sharp turns ahead.


On Wednesday afternoon, Democrat Jason Carter appeared on MSNBC and was confronted with a question we haven't heard him answer yet: How he feels the comeback of the Confederate battle emblem in Georgia in the form of a license plate:

Some analysts, including Emory University professor Drew Westen, had urged him to attack Republicans for backing the license plate. Carter, though, spoke more vaguely about the diversity of the state:

"One of the things that's most fundamental to me about creating my campaign and about creating the future of Georgia is one that looks like the rest of Georgia. We have a serious dearth of representatives throughout our state that look like the multicultural, multiracial state that we are and that we will be in the future. We have to do what we can to be welcoming in that regard."

When host Andrea Mitchell pressed Carter on whether the license plate sends the wrong signal, he demurred.

"I don't frankly hear people talk about it that much at Georgia. I think it's the kind of thing that folks talk about on national political things. But folks in Georgia have, in a lot of ways, moved past that from a racially charged standpoint. What we're looking toward is the future."


We got our first taste Wednesday of how Grandpa Carter will fit into his grandson’s race for governor. It was a fund-raising email that included this line from the former president:

We have a great opportunity in Georgia this November, and I know Jason is the candidate who will take Georgia’s leadership back from Republican Party extremists.


Over at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Geoffrey Skelley points out that the Democratic party’s long-term courting of young people has a short-term downside:

Since the first national exit poll was taken for a midterm election in 1978, only once (in that first survey) has the 18-to-29 age group made up a larger portion of a midterm electorate than voters who were 60 or older.

And not only have young people almost always been the smallest part of midterm electorates in this period, their participation has usually been much smaller compared to presidential years.

With Democrats more reliant on young voters to win elections, drop-off among that group could make it harder for Democrats to find success in midterm cycles.


This is the Tweet that has everyone talking this morning:

On the other hand, we could point the good senator from Kentucky to Ecclesiastes 10:20:

Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter.


You can read more by clicking the link, but this may be the biggest reversal of the week. From the Associated Press:

Facing a firestorm of protest, the prominent Christian relief agency World Vision on Wednesday dropped a two-day-old policy that would have allowed the charity to hire Christians in same-sex marriages.

The aid group told supporters in a letter that the board had made a mistake and was returning to its policy requiring celibacy outside of marriage "and faithfulness within the Bible covenant of marriage between a man and a woman."

"We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness," the agency said in the letter, signed by World Vision president Richard Stearns and board chairman Jim Bere.

Based in Federal Way, Wash., and started by evangelicals, World Vision has an international operating budget of nearly $1 billion and conducts economic development and emergency relief projects. In a conference call with reporters, Stearns said World Vision had not consulted enough with its partners before announcing the initial policy change. Since Monday, Stearns said the board had heard from major evangelical groups and leaders who had told them they had strayed from their core beliefs.


Wednesday was internal polling spin day in the hypercompetitive Republican primary for U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey's 11th District seat.

The campaign of former state senator Barry Loudermilk started things off by releasing a campaign survey showing Loudermilk about tied with former congressman Bob Barr, both at 12 percent.

Tricia Pridemore checked in at 3.7 percent and Ed Lindsey at 2.7 percent. This, in the estimation of Loudermilk’s campaign manager, showed that the fellow who put him on salary is in a “prime position” to make the runoff.

The survey was conducted March 20-24 of 600 voters who were definitely or probably voting in the May 20 GOP primary, with a 4 percent margin of error.

Lindsey could not let those numbers stand, and a couple hours later produced his own campaign’s internal poll, conducted March 10-11. That tally showed Barr with 25 percent, Lindsey with 15 percent, Loudermilk with 13 percent and Pridemore with 4 percent.

Lindsey’s campaign said the numbers indicated the effort was “picking up steam” and he pointed out the pollster, McLaughlin and Associates, also has worked for Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Attorney General Sam Olens in the past.

Barr’s campaign made sure you recognized the common theme, sending out a press release saying: “Bob's political opponents have verified what we have said all along -- that Bob Barr is the front runner in this race.”


Let the Super PAC arms race continue: Emily’s List, the Washington-based group backing women who support abortion rights, has started a Super PAC entitled “Georgia Women Vote!” designed to back Michelle Nunn.

The PAC has not reported any contributions yet. The filing was first spotted by Bloomberg’s Greg Giroux:

“Georgia Women Vote will seek to educate women voters about the most pressing issues facing Georgia families in the 2014 election,” Marcy Stech, a spokeswoman for Emily’s List, said in an e-mail. Emily’s List has emphasized issues like equal pay.

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