Karen Handel and Nathan Deal Face Off in Georgia GOP Primary
8:05 AM, Aug 10, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Georgia Republicans head to the polls today to vote for their party's nominee for the governorship. Former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel, one of Sarah Palin's "Mama Grizzlies," currently leads her primary opponent, former congressman Nathan Deal, 47 percent to 42 percent, according to Politics Daily. A Landmark poll, on the other hand, gives Deal a two-point lead over Handel coming out of last weekend. Palin was stumping for Handel in Atlanta yesterday, and both mama grizzlies were in attack mode:
The AJC's Jim Galloway notes that two members of current Republican governor Sonny Perdue's inner circle were attending the Handel event Monday. Still, Deal has the endorsements of all but one of his former Republican colleagues in the House (Rep. Tom Price supports Handel) as well as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
The outgoing governor has not endorsed either candidate, but Perdue will need to rally the party behind today's winner in order to defeat his 2002 Democratic opponent, former governor Roy Barnes. Barnes trails both Deal and Handel in the polls, but he is within the margin of error against Handel, and Real Clear Politics is calling this race a "toss up." Perdue was the first Republican governor in Georgia since Reconstruction. Georgia was the last state in the old Confederacy to have elected a Republican to the governer's office.