PPP released a poll on Wednesday that shows Democrat Michelle Nunn ahead of all four GOP candidates in Georgia’s open Senate race. Republican Saxby Chambliss is retiring at the end of his term. This led to a number of high-profile Republicans in Georgia announcing their candidacy for the open seat. The four Republican candidates that have announced include three current U.S. House members and the state’s former Secretary of State. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Nunn has emerged as the only real candidate.
In all four matchups with the GOP candidates, Nunn currently holds at least a small lead. Rep. Paul Broun comes closest, as Nunn is only ahead by one point. Against Rep. Jack Kingston, she holds a two-point advantage. Nunn is ahead by four points against both Rep. Phil Gingrey and former Secretary of State Karen Handel. With women voters, she is ahead anywhere between four and eight points against the GOP candidates.
This is all pretty amazing considering that Nunn has never held public office. This could speak to a variety of different things. One, she does have a well-known name in Georgia. While she may be something of an unknown commodity to most of the voters in Georgia, her father is very well-known. Sam Nunn is a former Democratic U.S. Senator from Georgia who made friends on both sides of the aisle during his tenure. Therefore, Michelle Nunn has picked up some valuable endorsements and donations from prominent Republicans like John Warner and Dick Lugar.
Another thing this might speak to is the rejection of extreme right-wing candidates. The three sitting Congressmen that are vying for the GOP nomination are all extremely conservative, almost cartoonishly so. Broun, for instance, is noted for saying evolution and the Big Bang Theory are ‘lies straight from the pit of hell’ and that it is a fact that the Earth is 9,000 years old. Kingston, meanwhile, wants poor kids to sweep the halls of their school if they want to eat. Not to be outdone, Gingrey defended both Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock regarding their statements on rape and abortion.
Nunn has done a very good job in terms of fundraising. Since announcing her candidacy this past July, she has raised well over $3 million. Considering the support she is receiving from some Republicans, the backing she has from the national party, her father’s name and connections, Nunn has a very, very good shot at making this seat blue. Considering how deep red this state is supposed to be, it would be an absolute embarrassment for the GOP if they lose this race.