» The Top Spot » Exclusive poll: Ossoff strengthens his lead,...
With just less than 30 days until the special election to replace Tom Price, an exclusive new poll from zpolitics and Clout Research has found that Democrat Jon Ossoff is greatly solidifying his base of support. Meanwhile, the GOP field is more divided than before.
The survey, which ran from March 15-16, found that Ossoff has increased his support among Congressional District 6 voters from 32 percent to 41 percent. Former Republican Secretary of State Karen Handel now only has a marginal edge over former Johns Creek City Councilman Bob Gray, as both effectively tie at 16 percent.
Former Republican State Senator Judson Hill remains solid with nine percent support, while former Republican State Senator Dan Moody bumped up to five percent. Trump’s National Diversity Coalition leader, Bruce LeVell, dropped to less than one percent.
The new poll also included former Democrat State Senator Ron Slotin and self-funding Republican businessman David Abroms. Neither managed to gain a significant edge- Slotin hit 3 percent support, while Abroms collected two percent.
Clout pollster Fritz Wenzel said that Ossoff’s gain may have resulted from waves of attack ads that have been thrown at him from Washington Republicans. According to him, the negative ads are activating left-leaning voters, though he predicts the momentum likely won’t be enough to lead to a runoff victory in the GOP-heavy district.
“Ossoff’s support from Democrats in CD-6 is at a very high level, and it is extraordinarily strong,” Wenzel said. “Democrats appear to be flocking to support him in backlash to these attacks, but in a runoff election, they are very likely to drive Republican and Independent voters away from Ossoff. He will likely be hard-pressed to make gains against what is expected to be a massive Republican and conservative onslaught to save this seat for the Republican Party.”
The survey seems to support Wenzel’s theory that Democrat voters are rallying behind a non-GOP candidate, as 33 percent of respondents said that Slotin would be their second choice behind Ossoff.
Republican political consultant Chip Lake told zpolitics that the results serve as a warning for Republicans. He says the party must unify after the special election if they want to retain the district.
“In many respects this confirms what most in the GOP have been saying for a while, which is that we shouldn’t take this race for granted,” Lake said. “Republicans have math working against us, here. We have a lot of strong candidates, and Democrats have one. So right now they’re united and we’re scattered.”
“I still believe that an extended runoff will happen, and it will benefit the Republican,” he added. “Maybe more important than ever, Republicans are going to have to unite the day after this jungle primary, and that will be hard because there are so many candidates. I’m confident that we will, but it’s going to take some work.”
In order to ensure the district doesn’t flip, Lake says that GOP candidates should “focus on defining Jon Ossoff” in the remaining days until the special election.
“They need to make sure his image rating going into a runoff is where it needs to be for this district,” he said.
A zpolitics/Clout Research poll released one month ago found that Democrat Ossoff was the front runner in the special election with 32 percent of voter support. Handel held 25 percent support at the time, while Gray was favored by 11 percent of respondents. The poll also included former State Senator Judson Hill (nine percent), former State Senator Dan Moody (two percent), and Trump diversity coalition leader Bruce LeVell (one percent).
The current poll included 625 respondents, mostly including “very likely” special election voters.
The special election will take place on April 18th, with a runoff set for June 20th. The District includes Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton counties.
In July, a zpolitics/Clout poll correctly predicted that Drew Ferguson would win over former State Senator Mike Crane in a runoff. An October statewide poll also gave an edge to Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the Peach State.
There’s more to come about the current poll in the days ahead, but you can check out the highlights below:
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