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GA-Sen: Chambliss and Martin Neck-and-Neck in New SUSA Poll

by: James L.

Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 12:17 PM EDT

SurveyUSA (9/28-29, likely voters, 9/14-16):

Jim Martin (D): 44 (36)
Saxby Chambliss (R-inc): 46 (53)
Allen Buckley (L): 5 (8)
(MoE: ±3.8%)

When we saw this internal poll for the DSCC yesterday that showed Chambliss leading by only three, many of us were rightly skeptical. Now SurveyUSA is out with a poll confirming a tight race.

I took a quick glance at the crosstabs and couldn't find any significant demographic differences between this poll and SUSA's last one (in terms of the sample's composition), but it's worth noting that the same poll finds McCain ahead of Obama by 52-44 -- a much more respectable margin than the 57-41 blowout of two weeks ago.

SSP currently rates this race as Likely Republican, but it definitely is worth watching.

Update: Here's one tidbit that I missed -- of those who have already voted (9% of likely voters), Martin leads Chambliss by 61-36 an Obama leads McCain by 64-35.

James L. :: GA-Sen: Chambliss and Martin Neck-and-Neck in New SUSA Poll
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Oh DSCC please put some money into this race. Imagine winning a Senate seat in GEORGIA!

Liberty Avenue Politics - a place for politics in Southern Queens

Has to be the economy
I can't think of any other reason for why all of these southern Senate races are swinging our way so much.  

Now who here said that the South was basically socialist?
Looks like the Republicans can only sell free-market ideas to populist voters as long as the economy does well.

Lol, stupid economy getting in the way.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Anyone willing to make a wager?
How much to you want to bet we'll be hearing about the sinful sodemites and abortionists again soon?

[ Parent ]
You still have to count Chambliss at 50% here
The Libertarian is polling at 5%, and he won't get anywhere near that much on election day; it'll be more like 1%, and most of the rest of them will probably end up voting for Chambliss.

Still, I really like this trend.

Also, this seems like kind of an odd poll
Both Obama and Martin are doing better with men than they are with women; that's the reverse of how it usually goes for Democrats.

Bush won women in 2004 in Georgia.

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

[ Parent ]
But he still did much worse among them than men

[ Parent ]
Can Martin get himself about 10% more of the white vote? If so, he can win this.

I would not like to be in charge of spending at the NRCC now.

Actually you would
Spend all of the money on advertising against Mark Pryor.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Yes, I'm very worried about Mark Pryor
He's more vulnerable than John Sununu.  Shifty eyes

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

[ Parent ]
Y'know, if he can get toppled by Green nominee Rebekah Kennedy,
she might be very easy for the Republicans to run against come 2014.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
Notes on crosstabs:
- African-Americans are probably undersampled - 26% instead of the actual number 29-30%; 26% may be reasonable for previous elections, but I'm guessing it will be 29-30% now.
- As has been mentioned, male/female crosstabs are weird. Females are also slightly undersampled (in 2004, was a 44/56 split)

- One thing that I've noticed is that all SUSA polls seem to be undersampling low-income voters; this is probably due to their likely voters screen, but I haven't seen a single SUSA poll that had similar or higher low-income turnout than in 2004, which seems a bit suspicious considering the massive GOTV drives. Georgia's median income is $43k, and in 2004, 42% of voters made less than $50,000/yr. SUSA has the number at 32%, which is a small factor as low-income voters tend to vote Democratic. If we adjust it to the 2004 numbers, this is a 1-point race (Chambliss-46, Martin-45.) Not a very large difference, but significant in a close race.

SUSA does have trouble sampling AAs
but the good news is that they don't do anything but weight to the census. That means that, unless this poll is an outlier, or the last one was, we see genuine movement in direction D, even in Georgia.

[ Parent ]
September 1 registrations
As of September 1, Blacks constituted 28.80% of registered voters in the state of Georgia.  GA Republicans, including the Secretary of State, will push enforcement of the state's ID law quite hard to limit turnout.  Still, I'd expect a 29% black turnout statewide.

Undersampling females and undersampling black voters may be linked in GA where there is a distinct gender split:  black women make up 16.99% of registered GA voters vs. 11.81% for black men.  

[ Parent ]
How is this
Was Chambliss not exactly loved in GA to begin with?

Gas Shortage
I suspect that the gas shortages in Atlanta are hurting Chambliss's poll numbers.  

Most of the improvement is in the rest of the state.
Martin is doing 11 points better in Atlanta, compared to 15 points better statewide.

Similarly, Obama is doing 7 points better in Atlanta, compared to 8 points better statewide.

[ Parent ]
In particular, Martin is doing better
in Northwest Georgia,  which is the appalachian part of the state, I think.

In other words, poor whites could be abandoning the Republicans.  

[ Parent ]
How many regions?
If there are only four regions, Atlanta and suburbs would be in the Northwest part of the state.  Weird shape to GA.  The northeast part of the "state" is really chopped out and called South Carolina.  I'm told that some nmewby Atlantans think of Myrtle Beach as the coast and aren't sure that GA itself has a coast (Savannah, please).

[ Parent ]
DSCC needs to pull out from Maine
and dump that six mil here, plus a little extra meet seeing as how this state is very expensive to advertise. Hit it on the its the economy stupid issue, and show how Chambliss has been wrong on all the economic issues. Introduce martin, show him off as a moderate old school Southern Democrat, alliveiate any worries any social conservatives or Bush Democrats had about voting for him, and he should be able to pick this seat off. It's really looking as if the last minute downturn in the economy could turn 08 into an even larger Democratic turnover/tsunami than in 06. I mean, realistically, we have outside shots at picking up 10 seats in the senate, 10. That's simply amazing. If we picked them all up it'd be a filibuster proof senat. I'm keeping my current predictions at 8 seats, though If the DSCC starts bombing here like they are in North Carolina and are about to start doing in Oregon, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Colorado, I would be inclined to make it a possible 9.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
I rate Kentucky as my tenth
and Georgia as the eleventh, right behind it.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't
because the two are polling similar, but Chambliss has nowhere near the collosal monetary advantage, and McConnell has been around forever and has a much vaster and hugely legendarily solid statewide campaign organization, partly from two decades close races. Chambliss had neither, neither the familiarity, the goodwill, the personal popularity, or the campaign apparatus. I'd roll the dice in Georgia right now if were the DSCC, and I'd roll them huge hoping to get a huge payoff, not only a new senate seat, but a moral victory for Democrats in Georgia and the deap south, and a moral victory for all those who hated the fearmongering scare-tactics Chambliss engaged into win his last campaign against Max Cleland.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Hmm, I was thinking of tying them
as I wrote the above comment.

party: Democratic, ideology: moderate, district: CT-01

[ Parent ]
I have to agree
There is no evidence that Allen is going to make this anymore than a high single-digits race.

[ Parent ]
DSCC needs to target this race
As I said yesterday.  You don't get these kind of chances often, in the deep South.  

When are we going to see new numbers for MS and ME??  

Jim Martin Money Bomb now
I just gave $30
My first political contribution in many cycles, maybe over a decade.

Over halfway to the goal.  Revenge for Cleland is reason enough for anyone to contribute, IMO.

[ Parent ]
  I understand why everyone has written off the Cornyn-Noriega race, but it stands to reason that if Chambliss is in trouble then so might Cornyn.
 The early voting news is incredibly good (and surprising!), particularly if Obama's lead widens such that overall turnout is depressed.  I think this news is incontrovertible evidence that Obama's ground game is working, and it's even working in states where he hasn't gone all in (like Georgia).

24, Male, GA-05

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