He might have had a target on his back on Saturday, but Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle won the straw poll leaving the 9th District Republican Party gubernatorial debate this weekend.
Cagle was by far the most name-checked candidate on the stage on Saturday, March 31, as the six other Republicans running to replace Gov. Nathan Deal took shots at his record in office. But Cagle’s supporters ran the table during the 9th District online straw poll.
Of 3,715 votes, 40.6 percent went to Cagle. Coming in second was Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who took 22.1 percent of the vote.
Former tech executive Clay Tippins (15.2 percent) and former Buckhead Sen. Hunter Hill (12.2 percent) were competing for third and fourth.
Casey Cagle: 1,509 votes
Brian Kemp: 821
Clay Tippins: 565
Hunter Hill: 454
Michael Williams: 339
Marc Urbach: 8
Eddie Hayes: 7
Before Cagle country gets too excited, straw polls don’t mean much. Erstwhile Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul often won them at Republican and conservative gatherings during his bids for office several years ago.
Paul’s support among young Republicans and conservatives often had him at the top of any straw poll, given that young campaign workers and activists are most often the ones attending the types of gatherings that organize such a poll.
In the case of the 9th District poll, seating during the event was limited to just 500, but more than seven times that number of votes were cast in the poll. Who was voting, how many times and from where all play into the results.Cagle’s internal polling showed he was carrying about 38 percent of likely primary voters before the Saturday debate. More of the primary electorate remains undecided than in favor of any one candidate, according to Hill’s internal polling.