In another sign that the Georgia GOP primary is not playing out as originally expected, two of the top tier candidates are targeting dark horse businessman David Perdue in new TV ads.
In a race that had been dominated by three Republican congressman — Reps. Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey, Paul Broun — Perdue (pictured) has been an also-ran until recent polling showed him competing closely and in some cases leading the race. Former Secretary of State Karen Handel has also come on as a contender, according to recent polls.
The two new ads from Kingston and Gingrey play off of an earlier ad by Perdue’s campaign depicting the rest of the field as crying babies.
“Meet Davey Perdue. He’s been distracting you with babies but he’s the one who’s made a mess,” the narrator in the new Kingston ad, released Thursday, said. Watch it here:
That new Kingston ad came a few days after Gingrey’s ad which features him saying the Perdue ad is clever but unserious.
“Clever, but you deserve better than politics as usual,” Gingrey said.
The new ads attacking Perdue underscore how far the businessman has come since he entered the race as a long shot candidate. An InsiderAdvantage Poll of the race released earlier in the week showed Perdue leading the field with 26 percent support followed by Handel with 18 percent, then Kingston with 17 percent support. Broun, that poll found, got 12 percent and Gingrey got 11 percent. A SurveyUSA poll released in late April found Perdue leading the field with 26 percent support followed by Kingston with 20 percent support. That’s a stark contrast from an August survey conducted by Public Policy Polling which found Gingrey in the lead with 25 percent support and Perdue lagging far behind with just 5 percent.
Perdue has made a last-ditch effort to secure the nomination by investing $1 million of his own money into his Senate campaign.
If Perdue did get the nomination, as The Washington Post noted, it might make it harder for Democrats to win the seat. Democrats have been hoping that a more gaffe-prone and deeply conservative candidate like Broun would win the nomination giving Michelle Nunn, the likely Democratic nominee, a big opportunity to win the Senate race in a state that has been tough for Democrats.