Poll: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle could face runoff in Georgia's gubernatorial race

Poll: Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle could face runoff in Georgia's gubernatorial race

March 2nd, 2018 by Staff Report in Breaking News

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2016, file photo, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle speaks during a memorial ceremony on the first day of the legislative session at the state Capitol in Atlanta. Cagle on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, threatened to prevent Delta Air Lines from getting a lucrative tax cut after the company ended its discount program with the National Rifle Association. Cagle, president of the state Senate and a leading candidate to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal, tweeted that he would use his position to kill a proposed sales tax exemption on jet fuel. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

A new poll suggests Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle may not be able to avoid a runoff in Georgia's primary elections.

The February Mason-Dixon Poll shows Cagle may fall short of the 50 percent of the vote required to avoid a runoff, despite being the leading contender in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

The poll includes a sample of 500 likely Democratic primary voters and 500 likely Republican primary voters.

Document: 2018 Georgia governor's race poll

Read the Mason-Dixon® poll on the 2018 Georgia governor's race.

Cagle tops Republican polls with a double-digit lead over other candidates at 27 percent of likely primary voters' support, according to the poll. Brian Kemp, Clay Tippins and Hunter Hill essentially tie for second place at 13, 12 and 11 percent, respectively. Michael Williams (5 percent) and Alan Urbach (1 percent) trail behind, and another 31 percent of likely voters remain undecided.

On the Democratic side, Stacey Abrams shows 29 percent support, while Stacey Evans comes in at 17 percent. But more than half of Democratic voters — 54 percent —are still undecided.

It's still hard to assess the general election at this point, the poll report notes, as most candidates are not well known yet. The exception is Cagle, who only slightly leads both Democratic candidates, but only by single digits.

In a separate section of the survey, pollsters interviewed a total of 625 registered Georgia voters by phone over the course of three days in February.

Respondents were shown different combinations of Democratic and Republican candidates and asked who they'd vote for if the general election were held that day. In each matchup, roughly 20 percent of respondents were undecided.

When Abrams was against the Republican candidates, she came out on top in each matchup, except for Cagle. With Evans as the Democratic candidate, however, Republican candidates mostly led. Evans led Hill by 1 percent.

The margin of error for the survey's two sections is 4 and 4.5 percent, respectively. Voters in north, central, south and Atlanta metro areas were interviewed, with 62 percent of them being white.