Several Republicans are viable contenders for the open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia being vacated by the surprise retirement of Senator Saxby Chambliss. Congressmen Jack Kingston and Tom Price are the most competitive in this exclusive survey done by our partners at Harper Polling.
In the Republican primary election for the open seat of Senator Saxby Chambliss, the race is wide open. The field is stacked with Members of Congress. In a state with 14 congressional districts, a Congressman’s statewide name identification is low and his support is confined early on to his district. However, if the field has 6 credible candidates, 35% could win the primary.
Congressmen Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Tom Price, and Jack Kingston are bunched in a pack at 19%, 18%, 17% and 13% respectively. The buzz-worthy candidates of state insiders, Ross Tolleson and Kelly Loefler, have no name identification and therefore no support at this stage.
Among Very Conservative voters, Price leads with 25% followed by Broun at 23%. Among Somewhat Conservative voters, Price leads again with 23% and Kingston comes in second at 19%.
No one is saying the 70-year-old former Senator and war hero, Max Cleland is interested in running. But if he did, he would lead a Democratic primary race with 20%, followed by Cathy Cox at 13%. Congressmen Sanford Bishop and John Barrow register 11% and 9% respectively. Moderate (34%) and Liberal (30%) voters alike prefer Cleland. Cox does best with Liberal voters at 16%.
Spending and Debt (33%) is the top concern of Georgia voters, followed by Jobs (29%) and the Economy (20%). It is uncommon to find a state where spending and debt tops the list of concerns. There is a strong strain of fiscal austerity running through the state.
In a number of hypothetical general election matchups, Max Cleland proved the strongest Democratic candidate. Kingston get closest at 26% to 39% for Cleland. The former Senator’s name identification stands at 90% while the Republican congressmen varying from 53% to 55% in terms of name ID.
Georgia voters are split on whether to stop the sequester spending cuts (41%) and let them take effect (35%).
Public funding for a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons is a tough sell with 20% in support and 66% opposed. Sixty-seven percent of voters are either A Lot or A Little Concerned that no women serve in statewide or federal office in Georgia.
Lastly, Congressman Hank Johnson appears to be out of step with 90% of his constituents on the issue of whether the island of Guam could tip over and capsize.
The sample size for this survey is 939 likely 2014 voters. The margin of error is +/-3.2%. The poll was conducted on February 11-12, 2013 by Harper Polling on behalf of Conservative Intel.