by: Lori Geary Updated:ATLANTA —
Voters will soon be heading to the polls to decide some major races, including who will replace retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
“I don't believe in people retiring in the Senate,” said Kevin Fair. “It's a public job and I think they should rotate them out.”
“I'm listening to all of them right now but I haven't made a decision,” another voter said. “More than likely I’ll be looking at the Republican side.”
It's a crowded field on the Republican side. In a Channel 2 Action News exclusive poll done by Landmark/Rosetta Stone, polls show a political newcomer at the top of the pack.
Of the 600 likely Republican voters polled, 21 percent picked David Perdue, followed by Rep. Jack Kingston and Rep. Paul Broun tied at 15 percent.
Next in line are Rep. Phil Gingrey and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel.
About 25 percent of the people polled are still undecided.
Perdue's message of being a Washington outsider may be resonating.
“He has an early lead but it's an early lead with a very large vote still undecided,” said Emory political science professor Merle Black.
Black says Perdue's ads of crying babies are having an impact and that Kingston's ads of him driving a 20-year-old Buick may be off message.
“Kingston is kind of like a trip down memory lane.
It's unclear whether that's the kind of ad that really connects with a lot of voters. It's more about the past than it is the future,” Black said.
Black said Handel, who lost to Gov. Nathan Deal in 2010 by less than 2,500 votes, needs to start gaining momentum.
“It may well be that she had her moment in 2010, if these polls are correct. But right now, it looks like she's running a very uphill battle.”
Channel 2’s Lori Geary reached out to Perdue’s camp Wednesday about the poll numbers. Perdue is spending the most on advertising topping off at $1 million so far.
He is followed by Kingston at $800,000, showing the race will more than likely head into a run-off.
The GOP winner will face a Democrat in November. Polls show it will be Michelle Nunn over former state Sen. Steen Miles and political newcomer Dr. Branko Radolavachi.