With only days to go before the general election, most polling shows Republican Nathan Deal running ahead of Democrat Roy Barnes for governor. And that may not change unless Barnes can draw more white rural voters.
Part of the problem says Merle Black, is a drag on the Democratic ticket by President Obama. The Emory University political scientist in a school-released analysis of the election says the president gets only about 24-percent support among the state’s white voters:
“To give you an example of Barnes’ problem, he’s polling a 1 point ahead of Obama among white voters in Georgia. He cannot possibly win a statewide race if those numbers hold up.”
Barnes says he is trying to recapture some of the rural white vote he lost in 2002—when he pushed to change the state flag.
Now he says he is getting some of those voters back on his side:
“I can feel as I go around the genuine nature and who’s really with you and who’s not. And those folks...we have a bond.”
While most polls show Deal ahead of Barnes, they’re not showing him at more than the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.
Some recent polling surveys show Deal getting between 47 to 49 percent support. Barnes is getting 39 to 41 percent.
But the editor of the Georgia Report, Tom Crawford, says there are still a good amount of undecided voters, accounting for 5 percent or more in this...and other races.
“I think that’s a product of the fact there’s been so much negative advertising, which basically discourages a lot of people from voting at all. But I think in this case, it increases the chance we may have a runoff.”
Libertarian John Monds in recent polling is drawing about 5 percent of the vote for Georgia governor.