Monday, November 3, 2008

Poll: Jack Kingston in Precarious Position

GA-01The Valdosta Daily Times says:
The position of Jack Kingston is equally precarious. Kingston’s support is exactly 50 percent with almost one in four registered voters undecided, according to the survey, making a runoff in Georgia’s First Congressional District with challenger Bill Gillespie a possibility.
This is from a telephone survey of 453 random phone numbers (margin of error 4.6%) in Lowndes County on 16-26 October by the Center for Applied Research (CAR) at Valdosta State University (VSU), Professor James LaPlant.

Update: The VDT was confused about runoffs. While a runoff is quite possible for the Senate race, which has three candidates, a runoff is extremely unlikely for the House race, which has only two candidates. So if Jack Kingston is to plummet from his precarious perch, it will happen today, and, if so, Bill Gillespie will win today.

The Valdosta Daily Times previously relegated a story on massive new voter registrations to the inside pages and put a story about Lowndes County supposedly always being Republican on the front page of the same issue. The VDT later declined to endorse anyone, because they didn't expect so much early voting! If even the VDT says Kingston's position is precarious, Kingston is perched on a precipice indeed. Bill Gillespie can win!

I have the whole poll, and among respondents who said they'd already voted, Kingston was below 50%. This is ignominious for Kingston, who in 2006 got 59% against 41% for Democrat Jim Nelson in Lowndes County.

This figure shows early voters vs. likely voters:

Early Voting, Poll, Lowndes County, Georgia

Chris Prine (D) and Freddie Taylor (R) are running for sheriff, Ashley Paulk (D) and G. Norman Bennett (R) for county commission chair, Bill Gillespie (D) and Jack Kingston (R) for U.S. House GA-01, Jim Martin (D) and Saxby Chambliss (R) for U.S. Senate GA-Sen, and Barack Obama (D) and John McCain (R) for U.S. president GA-Pres. As you can see, the local races are not even close; the Democrat is way ahead in each of those. The national races show the Democrat trailing, but much closer in early voting. In GA-01, Jack Kingston (R) fell below 50% in early voting, and Bill Gillespie (D) is catching up. The poll showed 28% early voters at a time when more than 20% had voted early. The last day of early voting was packed in Lowndes County. Final early voting was about 22,000 out of about 57,000 registered voters, or about 38%. So if the trend shown in this survey continued, the Democrats are even closer in the national races now.

The professor who organized the survey, Jim LaPlant, tells me:
I should also note that the survey found that Democrats outnumber Republicans in our sample of Lowndes County registered voters. Our sample was 36% Democrat, 34% Republican, 26% Independent and 4% no
response. In 2004, Republicans outnumbered Democrats and the numbers were roughly equivalent in the 2006 survey.
The survey also shows 53% of voters chose the economy as their biggest issue, with terrorism coming in a distant second at 12%. Bill Gillespie's top issue is the economy, and on terrorism Bill is a decorated Iraq veteran and Jack is not.

The poll summary says 2008 has:
...a presidential election that has the potential to generate the highest voter turnout since the 1960 presidential election.
This turnout, especially of the massive number of newly registered voters, will favor Bill Gillespie, especially in Lowndes County, where the local Obama office has handed out thousands of Bill Gillespie flyers and has mentioned his name at every opportunity.

So, if you haven't voted for Bill yet, get out and vote Tuesday!

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