Georgia might be ready for a change in political leadership, according to a new survey from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville.
Republican Governor Nathan Deal is up for reelection this year, with his likely Democratic challenger being state Senator Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.
The survey—administered by Costas Spirou, chair of GCSU's Department of Government and Sociology—asked 500 people via cell phone and landline which party they want leading the state in the next four years.
"40 percent indicated a Democrat, 36.9 percent indicated a Republican," Spirou said. That difference is within the survey's 4.4 percent margin of error.
But, Spirou said, the fact that its even close is an indication that Georgia residents may be getting tired of their current Republican leadership.
"When you look at the [public's attitude toward] future leadership, a lot of times future leadership is connected to who’s been in charge of leading the state in previous years," he said.
The finding is drawn from Spirou’s first annual "State of the State" survey, something he hopes will better inform political debates in years to come, he said. Respondents lived in four distinct Georgia regions identified by Spirou — North, Metro Atlanta, Middle, and South.
Among the other findings of the survey, Georgians have contradictory views about the Affordable Care Act.
50.8 percent of respondents oppose the federal law, also known as Obamacare, while 59.6 oppose Gov. Deal's decision to decline the Medicaid funding offered by the law.
"I think [that contradiction] reflects how Obamacare has become politicized," Spirou said.
The ACA itself has been the subject of much political attention, he said, while the Medicaid issue "hasn't received as much attention, so it is very possible that the responses there are much more directed to the policy rather than the politics of the policy."