Written by Tom Knighton
The ink is barely dry on the reports of Senator Saxby Chambliss and his decision to retire from the United States Senate. However, politics never sleeps. Discussions started almost instantly regarding who would take the senator from Moultrie’s place in Washington.A new poll, released earlier today, finds that the front runner is clearly former governor Sonny Purdue who garners 22.4 percent in the poll released by GaPundit.com, which releases an email newsletter on Georgia politics. Others listed in the poll include former gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel, who came in second with 15 percent, Brian Kemp (3.4 percent), Lynn Westmoreland (8.4 percent), Paul Broun (10.3 percent), Tom Graves (6.3 percent), and Tom Price (9.7 percent).
“If Governor Sonny Perdue decides to run for the U.S. Senate, he immediately becomes the front-runner, though it’s not a prohibitive lead,” said Todd Rehm, Editor of GaPundit.com.
“Two facts come out of the poll: first, there is a clear first tier; second, a Georgia Congressman can count on 6-11 percent support in a statewide race as a starting point,” said Rehm.
Purdue enjoys his lead, at least in part, due to his name recognition. That’s a benefit Handel enjoys to an extent as well, having served as Secretary of State and having forced then candidate Nathan Deal into a run off during the gubernatorial race.
In the press release earlier today, GaPundit.com notes that most of Handel’s support comes from women. In fact, with over 60 percent of her support coming from women, and 64 percent of undecided voters being women, there appears to be a potential upside for Handel should she decide to run.
Current senator Saxby Chambliss made headlines last week as news surfaced of his desire to retire after the end of his current term, which is in early 2014.