ATLANTA — An exclusive Channel 2 Action News poll shows a statistical tie between Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter.
The poll conducted by Landmark Communications/Rosetta Stone asked Georgia voters who they would vote for governor of Georgia.
Deal, a Republican, leads Carter by a margin of 43 percent to 39 percent – a number within the four-point margin of error. Eighteen percent remain undecided.
"I think it's great news, not only for Jason but for the Democrats in the state," political strategist Tharon Johnson said. "I think that being within a basically statistical dead heat right now, that's a really good place for a challenger to be against an incumbent."
Johnson ran President Barack Obama's campaign in the South and now works with Republican strategist Eric Tanenblatt, finance co-chair for the Mitt Romney president campaign in 2012.
"This race is going to be a referendum on Gov. Deal and he's going to now have an opportunity to tell his message," Tanenblatt said.
"I think Jason has a bright future. I just don't think this election year is the year. We'll see."
Both strategists agree that the demographics of Georgia are changing.
The poll found Deal with a large lead among men and adults age 18-39. Carter has a large lead in the African-American community and a slim three-point lead among women.
The Georgia statewide primary is May 20 and the general election is Nov. 4.