A new poll shows Barack Obama with a slight lead in Georgia over John McCain, though both the presidential and U.S. Senate races remain a toss-up in the state.
Insider Advantage, an Atlanta polling firm, conducted a surevy of 615 likely voters on Thursday that shows Democrat Obama with 48 percent support and Republican McCain with 47 percent. Undecided voters were at 3 percent, with 2 percent supporting "other." Libertarian candidate Bob Barr is the only other candidate on the state ballot.
The results were within the margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
Georgia and its 15 electoral votes have gone for the Republican candidate in each presidential election since 1996.
Pollster Matt Towery, chairman and CEO of Insider Advantage, said Obama is carrying 28 percent of white voters and is winning among independents.
"While this is a tight race, the problem for McCain is that all but 3 percent of whites have made their decision and approximately 8 percent of black voters have continued to say they are undecided or voting ‘other.' " Towery stated. "This will likely move closer to 95 percent for Obama when all said and done. Obama has room to go up.
"If the race were to remain the way it is today, you won't see these numbers come to fruition until very late in the night of Nov. 4 or perhaps the next day. The early numbers will likely show McCain ahead, as the counties where Obama is doing best are some of the largest counties and will be the slowest to report."
Republican incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss continues to lead Democratic challenger Jim Martin by a slim margin, 44 percent to 42 percent. Libertarian Allen Buckley is at 2 percent, with 12 percent still undecided.
Towery said he believes the Senate race will either head to a runoff three weeks after Nov. 4 or that Martin will prevail because more than 15 percent of black voters say they remain undecided. He also said independent voters are leading toward Martin by a 44-33 percent split.
"Generally speaking, at this point in a race, unless something were to turn it around, we would treat the undecideds two ways: We would either lop it off and redistribute it, or we would assign it based on the relative positions of the candidates as they stand today. "he said. "Under either of those scenarios, Chambliss and Martin would be in a runoff."