Polling shows tight races for governor, Senate in Georgia

A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows tight races for governor and senator in Georgia, two of the most-watched battles leading up to November. 

The poll shows incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) holding a lead over his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, by 5 points, 48 to 43 percent. Pollsters also found that Sen. Raphael Warnock(D) leads Republican challenger Herschel Walker by 3 points, 46 to 43 percent.

In the governor’s race, 7 percent of likely voters said they are undecided, while a statistically insignificant number plan to support a third-party candidate. About 8 percent are undecided in the race between Warnock and Walker, and 3 percent indicated support for Libertarian Chase Oliver. 

The results are in line with previous polls that have shown Kemp and Warnock with leads in their respective races. 

“There’s a long way to go before the general election, but a trend is emerging with recent polls: Kemp is consistently polling ahead of Abrams and Warnock is polling ahead of Walker,” said Trey Hood, a University of Georgia political scientist who conducted the poll, told the newspaper. 

Split-ticket voters may be key to Warnock achieving victory, the Journal-Constitution noted. About 4 percent of Kemp voters said they will vote for Warnock, while 4 percent plan to vote for a third-party candidate. Nine percent backing the incumbent governor said they are undecided for Senate. 

Hood said the undecided voters might end up backing Walker in the end or not voting, but “even a small number of defections and roll-offs could matter in a tight race.” 

Kemp benefited from a significant gender gap, leading among male voters, 57 to 33 percent. Abrams has a 10-point lead among female voters, 51 to 41 percent. 

Walker, meanwhile, holds a 16-point lead among male voters while Warnock has 19-point lead among female voters.

The poll also shows Walker suffering from less-unified support among Republicans and a deficit among independents. 

Kemp has support from 93 percent of Republican voters, while Walker only has 83 percent. Warnock leads Walker among independents by 11 points, while Kemp leads Abrams among independents by 3 points. 

Respondents were closely divided on which party should have control of Congress, with Republicans having an edge, 46 percent to 41 percent. 

The poll results indicated that rising prices and inflation are the top issues of concern to Georgia voters, but abortion and guns are also among the top. 

The survey also showed Republicans in the lead for two other top statewide positions. Republican Burt Jones leads Democrat Charlie Bailey by 5 points in the race for lieutenant governor. 

And Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state who gained national attention for refusing former President Trump’s attempts for him to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results, leads his Democratic opponent in the race for his reelection, 46 to 32 percent. 

The poll was conducted among 902 likely voters from July 14 to 22. The margin of error is 3.3 percentage points.