Monday, December 21, 2009

New Rasmussen Poll shows Roy Barnes with Commanding Lead. But is it legitimate?

Former Governor Roy Barnes is still far ahead of his opponents in Georgia's 2010 Democratic Gubernatorial Primary race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Democratic Primary voters in the state shows Barnes with a 31-point lead - 48% to 17% - over his closest competitor, State Attorney General Thurbert Baker. Barnes held a 24-point lead over Baker in October and a 33-point edge in August.

The remaining candidates all still remain in low single digits. Former Georgia Secretary of State David Poythress picks up four percent (4%) of the vote for the second straight poll. House Minority Leader Dubose Porter receives support from just three percent (3%) while Ray City Mayor Carl Camon is the choice of one percent (1%) of primary voters.

Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided at this point, compared to 21% in October and 30% in August. Another 10% prefer some other candidate.

Thirty-three percent (33%) of Democratic Primary voters hold a very favorable opinion of Barnes, showing no change from October. Just six percent (6%) view Barnes very unfavorably.

Baker is viewed very favorably by 14%, also showing no change from October’s results. Only four percent (4%) give Baker a very unfavorable rating.

At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Now at this point I'm surprised to see Porter & Poythress still in single digits. But this is the main reason why they still are:
Porter, Poythress and Camon all continue to have very favorables and very unfavorables in low single digits, in large part because a substantial number of primary voters don’t know enough about them to venture even a soft opinion. More than half of primary voters are not sure what they think of any of the three candidates.

Once these candidates begin to present themselves on television with campaigh ads, these numbers will go up considerably. Another factor is that voters aren't paying attention to the governor's race, at least not yet.
Don't expect to see aby of the other candidates to simply bow out because of this latest poll. But when you put each candidate in a general election against the GOP, this is what democrats need to be looking at:
Research 2000 General Election Matchups from early May:

Roy Barnes (D): 44
John Oxendine (R): 46
Roy Barnes (D): 45
Karen Handel (R): 39

Thurbert Baker (D): 42
John Oxendine (R): 47

Thurbert Baker (D): 42
Karen Handel (R): 40

David Poythress (D): 43
John Oxendine (R): 47

David Poythress (D): 43
Karen Handel (R): 39
(MoE: ±4%)

This was a early look at general election matchups & so far the only one that's been taken by a major polling firm. If you were to do a poll now, you would probably have every democratic challenger either leading each republican candidate or maybe even tied with each candidate. John Oxendine & Nathan Deal has been accused of ethics wrongdoing, Eric Johnson may take heat from not fully investigating the whole Glen Richardson saga when he had the chance. That leaves Karen Handel as of right now as the only republican candidate who hasn't faced any adversity so far & she according to this early head to head matchups is trailing Poythress & Baker. Research 2000 didn't include Porter & Camon ( I don't know why), but if you poll each of those two gentlemen, they would be very competitive as well. (This poll was taken back in the spring just to remind you).

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