The two Democratic contenders have transformed that Delta feud into a campaign tool of their own, railing against what they say is a brazen insult to the state's largest private employer.
The Mason-Dixon poll of likely Democratic primary voters shows Abrams leading former state Rep. Stacey Evans by a 29-17 margin with more than half of the Democratic voters – 54 percent – still undecided. About half of the electorate doesn’t recognize either candidate, who both have not yet aired any TV ads.
Cagle has been the presumptive front-runner in the GOP contest since he announced his run last year, and his race was long expected to head to a July runoff.
But his campaign seemed to angle for the knockout blow - a majority vote in the May primary - even before the NRA-Delta feud put him in the national spotlight. Cagle shelled out $4.4 million for six weeks of ads last month, and an outside group backing him added another $1.2 million.
In the general election contest, the poll showed Cagle with leads over both Evans and Abrams, who was once the top Democrat in the Georgia House. The margins are closer in potential matchups between most of the other candidates.
For Cagle, the numbers are a slip from previous polls. A Landmark/RosettaStone poll released in October showed Cagle with about 35 percent of support. An internal poll conducted for Cagle's campaign released the same month had him at 41 percent.