GaPundit.com Poll: Sonny Perdue leads the field for 2014 U.S. Senate race

With support from 24 percent of past Republican Primary voters, former two-term Governor Sonny Perdue leads among the serious potential candidates who have not foreclosed the possibility of running for the Republican nomination for United State Senate in 2014 following the announcement by Senator Saxby Chambliss that he will not seek reelection.

SenateBallot

Former Fulton County Commission Chair and Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel comes in second with 15 percent, reflecting a strong 2012 Gubernatorial campaign in which she came in first in the Republican Primary before losing the runoff to then-Congressman Nathan Deal.

Four Republican Congressmen, Paul Broun, Tom Graves, Tom Price, and Lynn Westmoreland hover in the range from six to ten percent; I’d guess any other incumbent GOP Congressman would score similarly.

The Gender Factor

The following table shows that sixty percent of Handel’s support comes from women, significantly higher than any other potential candidate, and nearly 64% of undecided respondents are women, showing some upside for Handel in a demographic that has been a weakness for the GOP lately. With an identical number of male respondents choosing Handel and Congressman Tom Price, whose geographic bases overlap, Handel’s lead over Price comes entirely from additional female votes.SenateCrosstabGenderRows

At the same time, Governor Perdue’s strong lead overall means that he still attracts more votes from women overall.

SenateCrosstabGenderColumns

Click here for a copy of the script and research methodology.

Attn: Political junkies, it’s now officially the 2014 election cycle

From Jim Galloway’s Political Insider:

Friends of former secretary of state Karen Handel tell us that Rob Simms, once her chief of staff – now a D.C. media consultant, wasn’t blowing smoke when he said Handel was considering a 2014 challenge to U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

She is.

Handel, of course, has a statewide election under her belt – and came within a percentage point of beating Nathan Deal in the 2010 Republican runoff for governor. (She has a book to sell, too, but let us ignore that point.)

Price has never run statewide, but given that the largest portion of Georgia voters can be reached through the metro Atlanta media market, that’s less of a roadblock than it once was. The Roswell congressman also has $1.6 million in the bank – a sizable head start on any other would-be challenger to Chambliss.

What’s being ignored is the fact that Handel and [Congressman Tom] Price have a close political and geographic connection. Price was the only Republican member of Congress from Georgia to endorse Handel’s gubernatorial ambitions. (Both are thus unloved by the current governor.)

One will not run if the other does. So the more that you hear one of these two north Fulton figures talk about a U.S. Senate run, the less likely it is that the other is truly considering the contest.