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New poll: Handel leads in GOP governor's race

By Dick Pettys
InsiderAdvantage Georgia

July 15, 2010 — Karen Handel leads the Republican race for the gubernatorial nomination, leaving Nathan Deal, John Oxendine and Eric Johnson battling for a berth with her in the runoff, a new InsiderAdvantage/WSB-TV poll shows.

The poll was conducted July 14 among 728 registered voters who said they would or have voted in the Republican primary in Georgia. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, and the poll was weighted for age, race and gender.

The results:

Karen Handel, 24%
Nathan Deal, 16%
John Oxendine, 15%
Eric Johnson, 13%
Jeff Chapman, 6%
Ray McBerry, 3%
Otis Putnam, 1%
Undecided, 22%

InsiderAdvantage CEO and political analyst Matt Towery:

“This survey was conducted after Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Handel and I believe the impact can be found in looking at the cross-tabulations with regard to the male- female vote. For the first time in the many times we’ve polled this race, she has more female support than male support. She had been lagging among females. As to the other candidates, it is literally a toss of the coin as to whether Deal, Oxendine or Johnson makes the runoff. Deal is continuing to hold his consistently solid base, which gives him 16 percent of the vote. Oxendine remains more than viable, tied with Deal and Johnson within the poll’s margin of error. Johnson appears to have made the most significant gain among the men, rising to 13 percent.
“The next three days will decide this race, but it is my guess that Handel will likely have a spot in the runoff, barring some major shift in the trends.”

Among the other polls released today:

* A Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the AJC and a consortium of other Georgia newspapers over a six-day period (July 8 – 13) showed John Oxendine leading on the Republican side with 31 percent of the vote, followed by Karen Handel at 23 percent and Nathan Deal at 18 percent. That poll was conducted among 400 likely Republican primary voters and had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

* The Rasmussen poll found Handel and Deal tied for the lead at 25 percent each with Oxendine third at 20 percent. That poll included results from 943 likely Republican primary voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. It was conducted on July 13.


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