Democrat Michelle Nunn is still little known to most in Georgia, but she is narrowly leading or tied with seven possible GOP rivals in the 2014 United States Senate race, a new poll finds.
According to a survey released Monday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, Nunn and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) were tied with 41 percent of the vote, while Nunn also tied with businessman David Perdue, both with 40 percent.
Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), who is on leave from her job as CEO of volunteer organization Points of Light, led both former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), 40 percent to 38 percent for each. She had wider margins in matchups with Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), 41 to 36 percent; minister Derrick Grayson, 42 to 36 percent; and businessman Eugene Yu, 42 to 35 percent.
A 60 percent majority of Georgia voters said they don't have an opinion on Nunn. The remainder were split, with 20 percent viewing her favorably, and 19 percent unfavorably. Opinions of her father, however, were decidedly positive, with 56 percent viewing him favorably, and 12 percent unfavorably.
While Nunn is by far the most prominent Democrat yet to enter the race, the Republican primary field remains crowded and competitive. The PPP poll found Gingrey ahead at 25 percent, followed by Broun at 19 percent, Kingston at 15 percent, Handel at 13 percent, and the remaining candidates in the single digits. Other polling this year has also found Gingrey ahead, or tied with Broun for first place.
Most of the GOP candidates, like Nunn, have yet to make much of an impression. Even the two most recognized candidates, Gingrey and Handel, were unfamiliar to 48 percent of voters, while outsiders Yu and Grayson were unknown to about three-quarters of voters.
PPP used automated phone calls to survey 520 Georgia voters, including an oversample of 260 Republican primary voters, between Aug. 2 and Aug. 5.