Republican congressman Paul Broun is leading a field of five Senate candidates in Georgia, a new poll has found. Broun has 27 percent of the GOP primary vote, according to a poll commissioned by liberal group Better Georgia. Broun's competitors came in relatively far behind, with fellow congressman Phil Gingrey in second with 14 percent, congressman Jack Kingston with 13 percent, and businessman David Perdue with 12 percent. Former secretary of state Karen Handel registered 9 percent support.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more on the poll, which was conducted by Democratic polling firm PPP:

It gets more interesting in head-to-head matchups with Democratic front-runner Michelle Nunn. Respondents had Nunn and Broun at a 38 percent deadlock, and Nunn with slight leads over Kingston, Handel and Gingrey. (A matchup between Nunn and Perdue was apparently not one of the questions.)

The poll involved 580 voters surveyed between March 5-6. Roughly half of the respondents said they generally vote in GOP primaries and 41 percent vote in Democratic contests. Some 49 percent favored Mitt Romney in 2012, compared to 43 percent who backed Barack Obama.

The candidates are all vying for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss. Democrats consider the seat a potential opportunity for a pick-up in a red state, and some Georgia donors say Broun's nomination would shift traditional business-community dollars to the Democrat, Michelle Nunn:

The consensus choice for the “wrong” Republican candidate is Paul Broun, the Athens-based antigovernment congressman who says evolution and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell” and as recently as 2010 said he “didn’t know” if Barack Obama was an American citizen. While the candidates have almost indistinguishable views on policy—they all support repealing Obamacare, oppose amnesty for illegal aliens before border security, and want to roll back federal regulations—in Broun’s view, the others are all crypto-statists.

Nunn is the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, who remains well regarded in Georgia.

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