Georgia Pro-Life Candidate Nathan Deal Wins Primary Runoff Over Karen Handel

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 12, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Georgia Pro-Life Candidate Nathan Deal Wins Primary Runoff Over Karen Handel

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 12
, 2010

Atlanta, GA ( — Nathan Deal, a pro-life former congressman seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, defeated his primary runoff opponent, former Secretary of State Karen Handel.

The race saw pro-life advocates split with both groups and former presidential candidates taking opposite sides of the battle between the two candidate for the state’s chief executive.

Handel has conceded to Deal after a very close race and said Wednesday morning it was best for the party to rally around Deal as the nominee.

Deal held a slim lead of fewer than 2,500 votes over Handel late Tuesday evening, or a 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent advantage with just provisional and military and overseas ballots counted. Handel could have requested a recount had the margin remained less than 1 percent, but she said the time was now to rally behind Deal’s campaign.

“As of this morning, we are four-tenths of a percentage point behind Nathan Deal with absentee ballots and overseas military votes yet to be counted. We certainly have the option of requesting the automatic statewide recount. But we are not going to do that,” Handel said in a statement.

She added, “The best thing for our party is to rally around Congressman Deal as our nominee in the fight against [Democrat] Roy Barnes."

After pro-life potential presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed her, Handel finished first among seven Republican candidates in the first primary race. Deal had the backing and active support of pro-life former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Deal now faces Barnes, who was the state’s governor for one term from 1999 to 2003 until he was defeated by current pro-life Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2002. Barnes easily captured the Democratic nomination for his old job.

The last poll in the race, from Rasmussen Reports, showed Barnes finds himself in a close race as he seeks to reclaim the title of Governor.

A late July Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Georgia voters finds that Barnes earns 43 percent against Deal, who scored 49 percent of the support in the matchup.

Deal is viewed as politically conservative by 54% of Georgia voters, moderate by 21% and liberal by 11%. Barnes is seen as liberal by 37% and moderate by 44%.

Roughly half of Georgia voters describe each candidate’s political views as mainstream. Some 28% say the same about Barnes, and 26% hold that opinion of Deal.

Barnes is the best known and 27% have a Very Favorable opinion of their former Governor while 21% offer a Very Unfavorable view. Deal is viewed Very Favorably by 12% and Very Unfavorably by 18%
Perdue is term-limited and cannot seek reelection. Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters in the state approve of the job he is doing as governor. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove.


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