Georgia Governor, Senate Race Becoming Close?

I’m not sure I believe it, but for what it’s worth, Atlanta NBC affiliate 11Alive is out with a new poll conducted on their behalf by SurveyUSA, showing the race for Governor as a stastical tie between Nathan Deal and Jason Carter, with Deal at 45% and Carter at 44%, and a MoE of 4.2% (hence the statistical tie).

Interestingly, the new survey, released yesterday, also shows Michelle Nunn narrowing the gap with David Perdue to 47%-44%. The survey stands in fairly stark contrast to 11Alive/Survey USA’s own identical poll from three weeks ago (released 8/18). That earlier poll showed the Governor’s race comfortably in the R column, with Deal at 48%, and Carter trailing nine points back at 39%, and the race for the retiring Saxby Chambliss’ seat also with a Republican-leaning nine-point gap, with Perdue at 50% and Nunn trailing at 41%.

In the mid-August poll, all of the candidates, both D and R, had seen their numbers increase as the election drew closer and the number of undecided dropped. What’s interesting about this new poll is that in the intervening three weeks, the number of undecided voters has not dropped much further. In fact, in the Senate race, it’s completely unchanged. Three weeks ago, there were 6% undecided in the Senate race and 8% in the Governor’s race. Yesterday’s survey reveals an identical 6% undecided in the Senate race and a drop of only two points (from 8% to 6%) in the Governor’s race. That means that most of the movement came from people changing their minds from one candidate to another, not from undecideds finally making up their minds.

I am not sure I buy a nine-point lead’s virtual evaporation in three weeks, (at least, not without unusual circumstances, which there haven’t been). I’m somewhat more ready to believe Michelle Nunn gaining three points in three weeks, but that still seems a bit of a stretch when considering that unless something’s screwy with the numbers, that three percent (apparently) came entirely out of David Perdue’s voters from three weeks ago.

Still, it’s an encouraging sign for the Democrats in Georgia, and if nothing else, means that the Republicans may wind up having to spend money they didn’t think they’d be having to spend this late in the game in a state that’s supposed to be predictably red-voting. I am honestly not sure what’s going on with the voters in this state, since a glance at Huffington Post’s Pollster.com aggregator for the past couple of months shows leads for the Republicans in both races…except for two or three polls which were all conducted by either Republican-leaning or outright GOP outfits, in which the Democrat leads in both the Senate and Governors’ races. Weird.