Georgia Governor: Perdue Lead Shrinks
Survey of 500 Likely Voters
March 15, 2006
March 26, 2006--In the race for the governor's mansion, Republican Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue still leads in projected match-ups with Democrats Secretary of State Cathy Cox and Lt. Governor Mark Taylor. But the latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds that both Democrats have gained ground compared to polls conducted earlier in the year.
Perdue, the state's first Republican governor since Reconstruction, remains a well-liked chief executive, viewed favorably by 70%, up two points from a month ago.
Cox is viewed favorably by 55%, Taylor by 53%. Cox was at 55% back in February, but Taylor has gained eight points and enjoys a much lower unfavorable rating now.
Voters unaffiliated with either major party tend to prefer the governor, but self-described moderates tend to prefer the Democrat.
The rolling average of the past three Rasmussen Reports polls shows Perdue leading Cox 51% to 37%. For this match-up, all three polls this year are within the margin of sampling error from this result. This raises the possibility that there may be little actual movement in the race and that the apparent tightening might be statistical noise.
However, the three-poll rolling average for the Perdue-Taylor match-up shows Perdue leading 53% to 35%. The most recent poll shows Taylor six points above this average. Additionally, Perdue’s support has declined each month when matched against Taylor (from 55% to 53% to 51%). This suggests that Taylor's gains are more than just statistical noise.
We have been asking several questions about the abortion issue in our state polls this month. The issue is in the news because of the recently passed (but not yet implemented) South Dakota law banning all abortions except when the life of the mother is in danger.
Forty-six percent (46%) of Georgia voters oppose such a law, 44% favor it. But 58% say it's too easy to get an abortion, and 63% say that abortion is morally wrong. Half of Republicans would support an abortion ban, along with 46% of Democrats. But many more conservatives support it than do liberals and moderates.
When it comes to electoral issues, 71% regard campaign finance reform as an important issue, but only 24% support public funding of campaigns. Fifty-nine percent (59%) believe most politicians would change their vote for a campaign contribution. Forty-one percent (41%) believe that the cost of influencing a Senator or Governor is $50,000 or more.
More Georgia voters (41%) trust churches or civic groups rather than the media (32%) to give them reliable information about campaigns.
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Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.
The telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports March 15, 2006. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points at the midpoint with a 95% level of confidence (see Methodology).