The ever-growing pack of candidates for the U.S. Senate have a wide-open running field, according to a survey released at the start of the Georgia Republican Convention.
The poll of 1,351 people with a history of voting in Republican primaries was conducted Thursday night by GaPundit.com with an automatic caller just hours before Karen Handel announced she was joining Congressmen Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston in running. Earlier in the week, David Perdue announced he had formed an exploratory committee and trumpeted the endorsement of his cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Kingston of Savannah entered the race a week ago, and he snagged a tiny lead in the poll with 18 percent. Gingrey, an Augusta native who represents Marietta in the U.S. House of Representatives, held second with 15.98 percent, and former Secretary of State Handel pulled third with 15.81 percent. Broun of Athens drew support from 14 percent while the political newcomer Perdue, a retired CEO of Dollar General, Pillowtex and Reebok, garnered 6 percent. Thirty percent of those surveyed are undecided.
With a 2.66 percent margin of error, there’s essentially no difference between the top-four politicians whose names have all been on ballots before.
“At this point, the numbers most likely to affect the eventual outcome are in the ‘cash-on-hand’ column of (Federal Election Commission) disclosures,” said GaPundit’s Todd Rehm. “Call it a wide-open race, and we’re so far out we can’t even see into the first turn. But we know that two of the candidates have significantly more fuel than the others.”