|Former Congressman David McIntosh|
The survey dated January 31, 2012, the day Burton announced his retirement, shows Burton leading McIntosh 37% to 31%. The other major candidates, former Marion County Coroner John McGoff and former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, clocked in at 11% and 7% respectively.
The survey suggests that once Burton is removed from the race, most of Burton's voters go to McIntosh by a 38% to 14% margin. Given McIntosh's conservative credentials as a former Congressman and 2000 gubernatorial candidate, that's not surprising. McGoff and Brooks are considered to be more moderate and reportedly voiced support for President Obama's bailout of the auto industry at a candidate forum, a position antithetical to the the position of tea party activists and many mainstream conservatives.
It appears that McGoff and Brooks' best hope is that state Senator Mike Delph enters the race and splits the conservative vote with McIntosh. Delph has solid credentials with the tea party crowd and would be a formidable candidate should he choose to run. However, the lateness of the Burton retirement announcement has left Delph at a decided disadvantage organizationally should he decide to enter the race.