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Poll: Georgians Favor Sen. Raphael Warnock Over Republican Challenger Herschel Walker and Kemp-Abrams Battle Over Governor’s Seat Is a Dead Heat

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and his Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams are deadlocked in a new poll of Georgia voters, paving the way for a tense rematch between the two candidates.

Forty-eight percent of voters said they would vote for the incumbent Kemp, and 48 percent said they would vote for Abrams in the November election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on June 29. It also puts incumbent U.S. Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock ahead of Republican challenger Herschel Walker by 10 points.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, top left, Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams, top right, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Hershel Walker, bottom left, and U.S. Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock. (Photos: YouTube screenshot/Twitter/Facebook)

Kemp and Abrams faced off in the highly competitive gubernatorial election in 2018. Kemp claimed victory over Abrams by 54,723 votes, 50.2 percent over 49.8 percent, making history as the tightest race in the state since 1966.

Abrams claimed the 2018 election was “grossly mismanaged” and suppressed low-income and Black voters. She accused Kemp of using his position as secretary of state to manipulate the voting system. Abrams launched a nonprofit after the elections and sued the interim secretary of state and the state election board.

Abrams announced her run for governor again in December. If elected, she would be the nation’s and the state’s first Black female governor.

The poll results for Georgia represents a slight shift from Quinnipiac’s January poll when 49 percent of voters said they supported Kemp. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,497 registered voters for the June poll.

Kemp has garnered more of his party’s support (96 percent) than his Democrat opponent. Still, 95 percent of Democrats support Abrams. She is also a favorite among independent voters (52 percent).

Abrams is leading among Black and female voters. Her opponent Kemp is favored more by white and male voters. He leads among older voters, while the Democrat candidate is a favorite among younger voters.

Georgia voters are split on how they see the gubernatorial candidates’ personal traits. The poll shows that 42 percent of voters have an unfavorable opinion of both Kemp and Abrams. However, voters are slightly more confident in the governor’s leadership (56 percent) compared to his challenger (52 percent.) More voters think the Democrat cares more about average Georgians.

“With both candidates getting positive numbers on honesty, empathy and leadership, Kemp and Abrams are in a Governor’s race too close to call,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.

Warnock was elected senator in a runoff election in January 2021, a pivotal win that helped Democrats usurp the Republican majority in the current Senate term. Democrats and independents who caucus with the party currently hold 50 of the 100 Senate seats, making them the majority party because Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris wields tiebreaker power on any split vote.

Warnock is one of 14 incumbent Democratic senators whose seats are at risk this fall among the 34 total Senate races. If he fails to retain his seat that could risk swinging the Democrats’ narrowest of majorities back to Republicans.

Fifty-four percent of Georgia voters said they would vote for Warnock in the November election, while 44 percent said they would vote for Walker.

Warnock received overwhelming support from Black voters (88 percent) and is a favorite among women. While 62 percent of white Georgians said they would cast a ballot for Walker, he is also a favorite among men and Republicans (93 percent).

Warnock leads in every age group of voters except 50 to 60-year-olds. More people also think the incumbent is honest, has good leadership skills and cares more about average Georgians.

“Herschel Walker fumbles on honesty and tumbles on favorability as Raphael Warnock surges ahead in the race for senator,” Malloy said.

The poll was conducted June 23-27, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 2.5 percentage points.

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