On Friday (January 25), Georgia's senior U.S. Senator, Republican Saxby Chambliss, announced in a statement on his website that he wouldn't be seeking a third term in 2014. By Monday, a poll on possible replacements already had hit the headlines.
According to a press release from GaPundit.com, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue leads that poll, followed by former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel.
“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.
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The findings were the result of a telephone poll conducted by GaPundit.com of more than 1000 voters.
Other names that came up in the results were U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, Tom Price and Lynn Westmoreland, Georgia Congressman Tom Graves and current Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp - in that order.
Perdue drew 22.4 percent, Handel 15 percent, Broun 10.3, Price 9.7, Westmoreland, 8.4, Graves 6.3 and Kemp 3.4. At this time, however, undecideds still lead the poll at 24.5 percent.
“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,” Rehm said.
Taking gender as a factor, the poll indicated that 60 percent of Handel's support came from women, significantly higher than any other potential candidate. However, 64 percent of undecided respondents were women, showing some upside for Handel in a demographic that has been a weakness for the GOP lately, according to Rehm. The same number of male respondents chose Price as chose Handel, showing that Handel's lead was entirely from female respondents. Price and Handel's geographic bases overlap.
View the full poll results here.
In the meantime, Chambliss said he plans to make the remainder of his term constructive.
“There are two years left in my term, and there is lots left to do. I am in good health, and I plan to continue working hard to represent the best interests of Georgians, and to do my utmost to help restore America to its economic greatness,” Chambliss said.
This article originally posted in Loganville-Grayson Patch.