Last week I wrote about the declining chances that Stacey Abrams is going to win the Georgia gubernatorial election. Democrats are said to be nervous that her campaign doesn’t seem to have picked up much energy so far. “There’s a lot of energy around the Warnock campaign. I’m not sure if the same energy that we had four years ago is around the Abrams campaign yet,” one Democratic state representative told the NY Times.
Today there are two new polls out which suggest even Sen. Warnock may be in a pretty tight race. First up, a new Marist poll shows Warnock leading by five but the race is tighter if you only look at register voters who say they definitely plan to vote:
- In Georgia’s race for U.S. Senate, Raphael Warnock (47%) leads Herschel Walker (42%) by 5 points statewide. Warnock (47%) and Walker (45%) are closely matched among registered voters who say they definitely plan to vote…
- 43% of Georgians have a favorable opinion of Warnock, and 40% have an unfavorable impression of him. Walker’s favorable rating is upside down (37% favorable to 41% unfavorable).
- The Republicans (48%) have a 4-point edge over the Democrats (44%) among registered voters statewide on the generic congressional ballot. That advantage widens for Republicans to a 7-point lead among voters who say they definitely plan to vote.
So, despite having not run a very good campaign by most accounts, Herschel Walker is probably only down by 2 which is well within the margin of error (3.6%). Plus voter energy in Georgia seems to be with the Republicans. As for Stacey Abrams, the same poll shows her down six among registered voters (50-44) and down 11 points (!) among those who say they definitely plan to vote. If that’s remotely accurate she’s going to get another chance at giving a real concession speech.
There’s another poll out today from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. The paper’s headline for the poll results is “AJC poll gives Republicans the edge in most races.”
The latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll paints a bleak picture for Georgia Democrats in November, with every statewide candidate aside from U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock facing a sizable deficit less than two months before the election.
The poll of likely voters released Tuesday showed the U.S. Senate race deadlocked between Warnock, who had 44%, and Republican Herschel Walker, who was at 46%. That’s within the poll’s margin of error. An additional 3% of voters indicate they’ll back Libertarian Chase Oliver, while 7% are undecided.
That close race is one of the only bright spots for Democrats in the poll, which was conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Policy and International Affairs.
Gov. Brian Kemp led Stacey Abrams 50% to 42% in the AJC poll, one of the first polls that shows the Republican incumbent north of the majority-vote mark he needs to win a second term without a runoff.
Again, Abrams probably isn’t coming back from an 8 point deficit at this point and if Kemp hits 50% there won’t even be a runoff. But the big news is a poll showing Walker up 2.
🚨 GEORGIA POLL By AJC
(R) Walker 46% (+2)
(D) Warnock 44%
(R) Kemp 50% (+8)
(D) Abrams 42
(R) Jones 43% (+10)
(D) Bailey 33%
(R) Carr 45% (+10)
(D) Jordan 35%
(R) Raffensperger 50% (+19)
(D) Nguyen 31%
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) September 20, 2022
FiveThirtyEight gives Marist and A rating and the AJC poll gets a B/C rating, so the Marist poll is probably more accurate. Still, even that poll shows this is a horse race. And FiveThirtyEight has the race listed as a toss-up. They give Warnock a 55% chance of winning, not much better than an even split.
I saw someone suggesting on Twitter (can’t find the tweet now) that if Gov. Kemp is really going to clear 50% is it really very likely that Herschel Walker is going to be stuck at 45%? Maybe but it’s also possible Kemp is going to help drag Walker to victory. It may depend partly on what happens in the debate. On that front, Walker is already setting the bar for himself very low.