It remains unclear who will come out in front in Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday, but it seems clear there will be a runoff.
A poll published yesterday showed former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, vying to become the nation's second black governor, and Lt. Gov. Zell Miller in a tight race. State Sen. Roy Barnes, whose views are more conservative than the two front-runners, trailed far behind.
The top two vote-getters will meet in an Aug. 7 runoff if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the primary vote.
The poll, conducted for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, showed Miller with 36 percent, Young with 30 percent and Barnes with 16 percent. State Rep. Lauren "Bubba" McDonald had 5 percent, and former governor Lester Maddox had 4 percent. Nine percent of those polled were undecided. The poll, which had a margin of error of 3 percent in either direction, showed Young receiving only 14 percent of the white vote -- an indication that he will have an uphill fight in the runoff.
The results are similar to a poll released by several Georgia television stations Thursday that showed Miller and Young with 36 percent and 34 percent support, respectively.
"The race really hasn't changed for the past year," Atlanta-based pollster Claibourne Darden said. "The minute Andy Young got in, he had a lock on one slot in the runoff, and Zell Miller was so far in front, no one could catch up with him to make the second slot -- especially since his opponents did a poor job of attacking him."
On the Republican side, the poll showed state Rep. Johnny Isakson far ahead of his rivals. Isakson is considered the most credible Georgia gubernatorial candidate the GOP has fielded in years.
The campaign, going into its final weekend, has been relatively tame, focusing mostly on issues such as crime, jobs and education and with no negative advertisements.
Miller, who has attacked Young's record as mayor by citing Atlanta's crime rate, is airing an ad that proposes boot camp for first-time drug offenders and has touted his support of a state lottery to fund education.
Young, pointing to Atlanta's economic growth during his eight years as mayor, has stressed economic development. He is airing a new ad that presents him as the leading abortion-rights supporter.