Interesting results in new Georgia poll tracking charter school amendment, presidential race, other key issues

I imagine the AJC’s headline is drawing yawns from readers: Romney tops Obama in Georgia as economy dominates campaign.

But I’d encourage you to look at the actual poll numbers in the poll sponsored by the AJC, which are fascinating for a variety of reasons beyond the predictable 51-43 lead for Romney among likely voters.

A few observations about the presidential race in Georgia:

  • It’s worth noting that Romney may not have sealed the deal with some conservative voters — his 51 percent among likely voters clearly indicates he will win, but it’s hardly the kind of landslide that many expected. (FWIW, FiveThirtyEight still projects that Romney will end with 55 percent of the vote in Georgia — up a few points from McCain’s vote in 2008 — but I think that’s too high by a point or two.)
  • While more likely voters, men and whites “disapprove strongly” of Obama’s job performance than “approve strongly”, the two categories are dead even among women in the state. Among non-whites, 74 percent “approve strongly” and another 15 percent “approve somewhat”.
  • In almost every other area of the poll concerning Obama and concerning the economy generally, white voters are much more negative than non-whites.
  • Among white voters, it’s 71-22 for Romney; among non-whites, it’s 86-9 for Obama.

On the economy:

  • A clear majority of likely voters — 65 percent — think that the best way to reduce the federal deficit is through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. (Among the more conservative subgroup of white voters, the number is 58 percent — a significant majority.)
  • Likely voter responses about the state of Georgia’s economy:  Excellent – 2%; Good – 34%; Not so good – 44%; Poor -18%. But those numbers vary widely by subgroup. For example, only 26% of whites see the state’s economy as Excellent or Good, while 52% of non-whites do. That might just be a factor of partisan politics, but it’s a pretty extreme divergence, especially given the higher rates of unemployment and poverty among non-whites.

On the charter school amendment:

  • 45 percent in favor, 42 percent opposed. It looks like that’s going to be a tight vote. I’m currently planning to vote in favor of the amendment for reasons I will discuss in a future post.