Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for Georgia governor, outraised the Republican incumbent Nathan Deal by $750,000 in the last quarter, according to information released today by the two campaigns. However, Carter still has less money on hand than his opponent.
Carter, the state senator and grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, raised more than $2 million in the last quarter to Deal’s $1.27 million. But the governor still has $2.6 million to spend while Carter has just over $1.8 million.
Deal’s campaign pointed out that the lower fundraising numbers are due to Deal’s gubernatorial responsibilities, such as the week-long trip to Israel and signing bills into law. The governor also proudly underscored that over 90 percent of his donors are from Georgia. Carter’s sources say about 70 percent of his supporters were local.
Carter told WSB-TV Channel 2 that while he believes the momentum is on his side and that Georgians are “ready for a change,” he is still expecting a tough fight in the fall. Deal is set to receive aid from powerful organizations such as the Republican Governors Association, which has already released $1.5 million-worth of pro-Deals ads, and the Georgia Victory Fund.
“There’s a long road ahead and we’re gonna get outspent,” said Carter. “But we feel exactly perfect from where we are right now.”
Georgia has been a Republican state for the past several years, but it is important to remember that Deal is only the second Republican governor in Georgia since 1872, behind Sonny Perdue. Analysts are also expecting Georgia to tip over to the Democratic side soon due to changing demographics.
Another factor working against Deal is the third gubernatorial candidate, libertarian Andrew Hunt. The Atlanta nanotechnologist is likely to pull at least a small number of the conservative support from the governor.
The recent polling data, however, sides with Deal. According to RealClearPolitics.com, Deal is leading on average by two points in surveys conducted since November 2013. However, the last two polls by InsiderAdvantage and SurveyUSA place him 7 and 6 points ahead of Carter.