Georgia midterms poll: Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Brian Kemp lead their challengers

Georgia midterms poll: Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Brian Kemp lead their challengers 2
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Trump-backed Herschel Walker trails Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock in new Georgia midterms poll that also has GOP Gov. Brian Kemp beating Stacey Abrams

  • A new poll out Thursday shows Georgia voters favoring their incumbents
  • The Peach State was considered reliably red until it narrowly went to Biden over Trump in the 2020 presidential race and elected two Democrat senators in 2021
  • Warnock and Kemp’s projected leads are chiefly driven by the spread of independent voters polled in the AARP survey
  • Female voters primarily chose the Democrats and men backed GOP candidates 
  • A Georgia candidate needs a majority of the vote to avoid a runoff election  
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A new midterm election poll out of Georgia suggests Peach State voters care more about the experience of their candidate than whether they’re a Democrat or Republican – a marked shift for a state that was considered a red stronghold up until the 2020 presidential race.

AARP Georgia’s Thursday survey on the November races shows incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, leading Republican candidate Herschel Walker by a three-point margin.

Walker has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. The two have been close since Walker played on Trump’s now-defunct professional football team, the New Jersey Generals.

But in the Georgia gubernatorial race, voters appear to favor their Republican leader over his Democrat challenger.

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Governor Brian Kemp again bests Democrat Stacey Abrams in a poll projecting their November re-match, after narrowly defeating her to win his seat in 2018.

Kemp leads with 52 percent of the vote to Abrams’ 45 percent, just barely out of run-off territory.

Under Georgia’s election rules, a candidate has to secure a majority of the vote to avoid a runoff election.

That means Warnock – who is polling with 50 percent support – would need to clinch a few thousand more voters between now and November to avoid a second race.

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Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock comes out ahead of challenger Herschel Walker in the new poll, but needs to get above 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff

Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock comes out ahead of challenger Herschel Walker in the new poll, but needs to get above 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff

Meanwhile Georgia's Republican governor is also holding a solid lead over his Democrat opponent Stacey Abrams

Meanwhile Georgia’s Republican governor is also holding a solid lead over his Democrat opponent Stacey Abrams

The Atlanta pastor won his seat in a runoff election against former Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican who joined Congress via special appointment, in January 2021. 

While the ex-president’s support helped Walker clinch an at first unlikely GOP nomination, Trump’s endorsement failed to sway Republican voters in Kemp’s case. The former president, outraged that Kemp did not overturn his narrow 2020 electoral loss in Georgia, recruited former Senator David Perdue to primary Kemp.

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And the trend toward incumbents is largely reflected in the state’s independent voters, according to Thursday’s poll.

Warnock holds a slightly lower lead among independents than the general pool of voters, clinching 48 percent support.

He’s still polling ahead of Walker’s 45 percentage points at the same three point margin.

Walker is still polling above 90 percent among Republicans, after sailing to victory in the Georgia GOP primary with Donald Trump's support

Walker is still polling above 90 percent among Republicans, after sailing to victory in the Georgia GOP primary with Donald Trump’s support

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Warnock won his seat via a special election against former GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler in January 2021

Warnock won his seat via a special election against former GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler in January 2021

Kemp, however, enjoys slightly more support from independents than he does among all voters. Fifty-four percent of independent voters back the governor, compared to 40 percent who support Abrams.

Partisan divides still remain as both Kemp and Warnock fail to clinch more than 5 percent support with voters of the opposite party.

Female voters were more likely to support the Democrats, while males mostly chose the GOP candidates. 

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It’s worth noting that the survey suggests Georgia voters are looking to hold onto their current representatives despite a severe dissatisfaction with the state of today’s economy.

The Peach State's gubernatorial race is a rematch between incumbent Governor Kemp and Abrams, the former Speaker of the Georgia State Legislature who is now a voting rights activist

Abrams narrowly lost to Kemp, who then oversaw Georgia's elections as its secretary of state, in 2018

The Peach State’s gubernatorial race is a rematch between incumbent Governor Kemp and Abrams, the former Speaker of the Georgia State Legislature who is now a voting rights activist 

President Joe Biden, who eeked out a razor-thin victory over Trump there in 2020, is now polling at just 34 percent approval.

Trump’s approval rating is significantly higher at 49 percent.

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And a whopping two-thirds of survey respondents said the economy was not working well for them.

Nearly nine in 10 Georgia voters said they believe members of Congress are not listening to them or people like them. 

Eighty-eight percent are unhappy with the direction of the country and 59 percent are unhappy with the direction Georgia is headed in.

AARP Georgia polled 1,197 likely voters from July 5 through July 11. 

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