In head-to-head matchups against the two Republican candidates who qualify for a July 22 runoff election, Nunn comes out behind. According to the SurveyUSA poll, Nunn trails Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., by six points among likely voters; she trails businessman David Perdue by five points.
SurveyUSA found Kingston ahead of Perdue by 11 points, possible indication that high-profile endorsements of Kingston are having the expected effect.
Nunn has led both Republican candidates in previous polling of likely voters. In May, Rasmussen Reports, a Republican-leaning firm, found Nunn ahead of Kingston by six points; Saint Leo University found her ahead by one point. May polling by Rasmussen and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution found Nunn ahead of Perdue by three points and one point, respectively.
Nunn, who is running for the Senate seat left behind by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has until now benefited from Republican primary infighting and high name recognition: her father, Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn, served in the Senate for 24 years.
Michelle Nunn is new to electoral politics. Prior to running for election, she made a successful and, er, profitable career in nonprofits.
The SurveyUSA poll indicates these advantages may not be enough to win the general election, especially once Republicans close ranks behind a nominee. Nunn could also be hurt by her anodyne performance on the campaign trail. She has done cartwheels to avoid thorny issues like Obamacare.
There is hope for Nunn, however. Previous polling has her ahead against both Republican candidates, and SurveyUSA conducts polls differently than other polling firms. Subsequent polling could prove the most recent results anomalous.
If polling continues to show Nunn behind, however, her campaign will have to respond.