Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn appears to be surging in the race for a Republican-held U.S. Senate seat in Georgia.
In a new poll Thursday from the local CBS affiliate in Columbus, Georgia, Nunn had 46 percent, edging out Republican nominee David Perdue at 45 percent, plus Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford with 6 percent. The survey of likely voters was conducted by local pollster GaPundit.com on Oct. 13 and 14, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
This follows another poll from SurveyUSA, released on Wednesday by the local NBC affiliate in Atlanta, showing Nunn with 48 percent, Perdue at 45 percent, and Swafford with just 3 percent. The survey of likely voters was conducted from Oct. 10 to 13, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. In the previous poll for the station from just a week earlier, Perdue had 46 percent to Nunn at 45 percent, and Swafford with 3 percent.
Perdue has been on the ropes for the last couple weeks, due to media scrutiny and Democratic attacks over his business experience involving outsourcing to other countries.
And here is the key twist: All those extra votes for the Libertarian candidate could be very important in this race. If neither Nunn nor Perdue is able to get at least 50 percent of the vote, under Georgia law there will be an extra runoff election — to be held all the way on Jan. 6, just as the newly sworn-in Congress is supposed to be getting started.
And who knows, depending on other results in November it is entirely possible that such a runoff determines which party controls the Senate.