Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Georgia’s Senate Race Holds Steady in October

The U.S. Senate race in Georgia remains relatively unchanged this month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Peach State finds Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss leading Democratic challenger Jim Martin 50% to 44%.

Last month, Chambliss led 50% to 43%. The month prior, the incumbent held a six-point lead.

Chambliss, who is seeking his second term in the Senate, has held a solid lead all year, but the race tightened when Martin, a former state representative, won his party's primary to be the Senate nominee in early August.

The race among unaffiliated voters remains close, with Chambliss ahead 48% to 44%. While Chambliss has a 57% to 42% advantage among men, Martin leads 46% to 44% among women (Premium Members can view full demographic crosstabs.)

Chambliss is viewed favorably by 57% of Georgia voters and unfavorably by 37%. Martin’s ratings are 45% favorable, 38% unfavorable.

Rasmussen Markets data gives Chambliss has a 70.0% chance of winning re-election in November. These results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants. It costs nothing to join and add your voice to the collective wisdom.

Over the past month, the metro Atlanta area has experienced a major gas shortage in the wake of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. Refineries in the Houston area took a big hit during the hurricanes and are desperately trying to reach full capacity as quickly as possible. The Colonial Pipeline, which is responsible for supplying gasoline to several southern states, is still not operating at full capacity. So Georgians and many other southern state residents face long waits at the pump and high gas prices.

The majority of voters in Georgia (61%) say they have personally waited in line for gas, while 39% say they have not had to yet. An even larger percentage (71%) says they have been forced to drive less or carpool to deal with the shortage.

As far as the state’s handling of the situation, just 26% say Governor Sonny Perdue did a good or excellent job, while 37% say he did a poor job handling the shortage.

However, most voters were not in favor of previously used solutions to shortages. Nearly half (45%) are not in favor of mandating an even/odd system of gas purchasing according to license plate numbers, while 30% said it should be implemented. Fifty-two percent (52%) also don’t agree with placing limits on gas purchases, while 34% think it’s a good idea.

Overall, Perdue, a Republican, earns good or excellent job approval ratings from 39% of voters, down from 49% one month ago. One-in-four Georgia voters give the governor’s job performance a poor rating.
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