Among all poll responders, Hembree scored 38.7 percent; former state Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson, 10.2 percent; Carrollton contractor Mike Dugan, 7.7 percent; and Carrollton business consultant James Naughton, 3.8 percent. Of those polled, 39.6 percent were undecided.
Among likely primary voters, Hembree had 45.4 percent; Richardson, 11.5 percent; Dugan, 8.2 percent; Naughton, 3.9 percent; and Undecided, 31.0 percent.
The poll was conducted by Sand Mountain Communications, LLC, and used interactive voice response (IVR), commonly known as a “robopoll.” People receiving the calls answered a series of questions by pushing certain buttons on their phones. The poll asked if the person would take a ballot for the senate primary, which candidate they would vote for, age, gender and party affiliation.
From a list of Georgia registered voters who voted in the 2008 or 2010 general elections, the survey dialed phone numbers at random. A total of 394 people completed the survey, of which 302 said they plan to vote in the District 30 senate primary.
The margin of error for the sample used was plus-or-minus 5.55 points at the 95 percent confidence level. Weighting was applied to bring the observed proportion of males and females into line with know proportions according to statistics released by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
A earlier Sand Mountain poll, conducted in early November before Dugan and Naughton had entered the race, showed Hembree with 36 percent, Richardson with 13 percent and Temple Libertarian James Camp with 12 percent. However, Camp did not qualify for the Nov. 6 special Republican primary, but chose to qualify instead for the Jan. 8 special general election. He was not listed in the latest poll.
“My prediction will remain the same,” Todd Rehm, Atlanta-based political consultant and editor of GaPundit.com, said Monday. “Bill Hembree has a clear path to winning the primary without a runoff. I would be hesitant to say that anyone could beat him.”
Rehm noted earlier last week that Carroll County has about 55 percent of the District 30 voters and two candidates in the race are from Carrollton. Hembree was born in Carroll County and has family ties here, but no active political base here. Rehm said the two Carrollton candidates could make inroads in the race through “application of money or real effort,” but neither is a factor “as of today.”
“It will be interesting to watch this race as it goes on,” he added.
Rehm said a lot of the undecided voters could end up not voting in the District 30 Senate race, but “we’re not at that point yet.”
He said GaPundit.com will probably conduct two more polls of the District 30 race, one during the week before the election.
All four Republican senate candidates, and Libertarian Camp, appeared last Tuesday at a Carroll County Tea Party forum and are scheduled to appear again at a League of Women Voters Carrollton-Carroll County on Oct. 15.