Poll: Front-runners emerge in high profile Ga. primaries

ATLANTA -- With two months to go until the 2014 Georgia primary, some clear front-runners have emerged in some high-profile contests, but other lower-profile races remain a free-for-all, according to SurveyUSA poll conducted for 11Alive.

In the Republican primary for Governor, incumbent Nathan Deal overwhelms two nominal challengers: Deal 65%, David Pennington.11%, John Barge 7%. Some 17% said they were undecided.

In a Republican primary for the U.S. Senate being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, David Perdue tops six challengers: Perdue at 29%, Jack Kingston at 19%, with Phil Gingrey, Paul Broun, and Karen Handel effectively tied for 3rd place. A runoff is likely, according to the poll.

In the Republican primary for School Superintendent, nine candidates battle for name recognition and voter share of mind, with any outcome possible. 45% are undecided. The top five candidates have between 7% and 10% support levels. A runoff is certain. The sitting Superintendent, John Barge, is running for Governor.

In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senator, Michelle Nunn decisively defeats three opponents, Nunn 48%, Todd Robinson 14%, Steen Miles at 11% and Rod Radulovacki at 5%. Nunn is likely to reach the 50% needed to avoid a July 22 runoff.

In the Democratic primary for Secretary of State, Doreen Carter defeats Gerald Beckum today, 45% to 22%. The winner faces incumbent Republican Brian Kemp.

In the Democratic primary for Insurance Commissioner, Liz Johnson defeats Keith Heard 45% to 29%. The winner faces incumbent Republican Ralph Hudges.

In the Democratic primary for State School Superintendent, Valerie Wilson and Denise Freeman are effectively tied, at 17% and 16%, for the right to advance to a runoff, followed by Alisha Thomas Morgan at 12% and Jurita Mays at 11%. A runoff is certain.

Georgia voters want to leave unchanged the state's constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. 59% want the amendment to remain in place; 32% want it repealed.

Georgians are divided on what to do about the recreational use of marijuana: 28% say possession should remain a criminal offense; 30% say possession should be changed to a civil offense, and 37% say possession should be decriminalized.

Of those Georgians who do not have health insurance, half will sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, half won't. Of those uninsured who won't take advantage of the ACA, most say that the policies are too expensive.

Cell-phone respondents and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 2,300 state of GA adults 03/16/14 through 03/18/14. Of the adults, 1,985 were registered to vote. Of the registered, 508 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 05/20/14 Republican Primary, 443 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the 05/20/14 Democratic Primary. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (78% of registered voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (22% of registered voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.


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