And Barnes has the luxury of campaigning full-time for three weeks while letting GOP Karen Handel and Nathan Deal rough up each other in the primary runoff.
In a Rasmussen survey Wednesday, Republican front-runner Handel was in a virtual tie with Barnes. She had 45 percent to Barnes' 44 percent in the telephone poll of 500 likely voters. Seven percent preferred some other candidate and 4 percent were undecided.
Deal led Barnes 49 percent to 43 percent with some other candidate and undecided each at 4 percent.
Of more significance at this point, according to Rasmussen, is the number of people holding strong opinions. Twenty-seven percent have a very favorable opinion of widely known former Gov. Barnes, while 21 percent harbor a very unfavorable view of him. At least his very favorable standing beats his very unfavorable numbers.
But check this: The reverse is true of both Republicans. For Handel, the figures are 15 percent very favorable and 19 percent very unfavorable. Deal: 12 percent very favorable and 18 percent very unfavorable. Is this due to lack of name recognition? That seems unlikely in the case of Handel who has been secretary of state for nearly four years.
Another omen for Handel in the runoff: Only 44 percent see her as politically conservative, 30 percent think she's moderate and 14 percent say she's liberal. Of Deal, who is running as "the conservative candidate," 54 percent say he's conservative, 21 percent moderate and 11 percent liberal.
Likewise, the figures suggest Barnes has some work to do to show he's not "liberal," politically anathema in Georgia. In the survey, he was viewed as liberal by 37 percent of the likely voters, while 44 percent saw him as moderate.
In addition to the war of words over who's conservative, Handel is under attack from leaders of the Georgia Right to Life organization. They claim she is "not pro-life, regardless of her statements to the contrary and despite her 'many pro-life endorsements.'"
For the record, Handel says on her website, "I am staunchly and unequivocally pro-life. And while I will not seek to prohibit abortions in the extremely rare cases of rape, incest, or where there is a real threat to the life of the mother ..."
Meanwhile, to make the political scene even more interesting, President Obama will come to Atlanta on Aug. 2, just a week before the runoff election, for a speech to the national convention of the Disabled American Veterans.
This will be Obama's first visit to Atlanta since his election, and he will be the first president to speak to the DAV national convention since Bill Clinton in 1996.
Obama will also speak at a Democratic National Committee fundraising event in Atlanta. But on that score, I have a feeling that Roy Barnes already has a previous commitment.