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Jason Carter leads Nathan Deal in InsiderAdvantage poll

The latest InsiderAdvantage statewide gubernatorial poll, conducted with OpinionSavvy and commissioned by Morris News and WAGA-TV Atlanta, shows Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) trailing his Democratic opponent Jason Carter in his bid for reelection, according to results published Thursday night.

Although statistically a tie, Deal received three percent less support than the Democrat, with 38 percent of the vote to Carter's 41 percent. Undecided voters added up to 21 percent and the survey had +/- 4.3 percent margin of error.

The poll was conducted Sunday and Monday online, and it included 486 Georgia voters.

Carter received 59 percent of support from independents, and more than 25 percent of Republicans are still undecided.

The Insider Advantage poll comes just three weeks after the Hicks Evaluation Group (HEG) poll of likely Republican voters showed some of the GOP base turning to Carter.

"When asked, nearly 8% of (…) Republican voters said they would vote for Jason Carter in the general election," said Fred Hicks, president of HEG on February 20. "If this is not merely an expression of anti-Deal sentiment, and Jason Carter is actually turning the Republican base away from an incumbent Republican Governor, then the November election could be much closer than previously expected. Based on the results from the last Governor’s race, Carter needs to switch 9.5% of Deal’s 2010 voters to his side in order to win.

"While that seemed like a remote possibility at the time of Senator Carter’s announcement, these results make this race one to watch.”

The recent results show a shift for Carter from early this year when a January poll by Insider Advantage found Deal at 44 percent and Carter at 22 percent; around the same time an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed Deal with 47 percent and Carter with 38.

Both of the January polls were taken before the Atlanta 2014 snow/ice storm, which paralyzed the city due to delayed emergency warning from the state and city leadership.

Deal took responsibility for the late response that resulted in some metro drivers spending 30 hours in their vehicles on Atlanta highways.

Deal has also been involved in various ethics investigations dating back to his years in Washington, with the latest complaints having to do with his 2010 gubernatorial campaign investigation. The governor denies any wrongdoing.