Gov. Deal’s approval rating falls; Jason Carter would start tied

Gov. Nathan Deal is now juggling three growing scandals and voters are paying attention.

As a result, new polling shows State Sen. Jason Carter in a statistical tie with Gov. Deal.

In a poll commissioned this week by Better Georgia, Gov. Deal’s approval rating has fallen to 34 percent. That number was 44 percent as recently as August.

The 10-point drop is no-doubt fueled by the three issues currently facing the governor:

  • The state ethics commission recently called for an independent investigation of charges stemming from Gov. Deal’s last campaign for governor. The state’s top ethics attorney said the governor’s office was involved in efforts to destroy documents in an open investigation involving the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office.
  • An independent reporter recently discovered that Gov. Nathan Deal is collecting political contributions greater than most Georgia families make in a year and failed to file reports for two years.
  • The governor is making millions of dollars from a company that won’t pay Georgia what it owes. The company owes the state $74 million in back taxes, but Gov. Deal won’t do anything about it, even though he made sure he got paid.

Another reason voters may be giving Gov. Deal such low marks is that he continues to refuse to expand Medicaid in Georgia, costing the state millions of dollars to boost the health care industry and blocking more than 600,000 Georgians from insurance coverage.

Sixty percent of Georgia voters support Medicaid expansion and only 26 percent oppose it. This split has remained consistent for as long as Better Georgia has asked this question.

It’s clear that Gov. Deal is out of step with most voters.

So what does this mean for the future of Georgia? Can we make big changes to policies that impact families across the state?

Voters appear to be willing to look for an alternative.

In a hypothetical match-up between Gov. Deal and State Sen. Carter, the two candidates would start within the four-point margin of error: Deal 44, Carter 40.

All of these numbers are from a poll taken Monday and Tuesday night by Public Policy Polling for Better Georgia.

The biggest takeaway from these numbers is that Gov. Deal is losing the trust of Georgia voters.