The Peach State is reverting to red, according to a new Trafalgar/Daily Wire poll.
Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp has a commanding, near 7-point lead in his rematch against Stacey Abrams, and Herschel Walker is on pace to flip the Senate seat held by Raphael Warnock to the GOP, according to the poll. The former University of Georgia and NFL great holds a 48.9-46.5 lead over Warnock, who was elected in a special election in January 2021.
Walker appears to have capitalized on a strong debate performance to put allegations he paid for a woman’s abortion, which he denies, behind him.
“When we, Insider Advantage, and Emerson polled Walker just after all the personal allegations had come out, but before the debate, Walker had only fallen behind by an average of 2.3%,” Trafalgar Group founder Robert Cahaly said. “After Herschel’s strong debate performance a well known group, Landmark released a poll having the race tied. Now we have Walker leading by 2.4%.”
As recently as late September, some polls had Warnock up by as many as 12 points. Walker closed to within 3 points by the start of October, and kept building momentum. One key is Walker’s performance with black and Hispanic voter, which is extremely strong for a Republican. The political neophyte is getting 23.5% of the black vote and almost 40% of the Hispanic vote. Given his 88% performance with Republicans, he could be building an insurmountable lead.
Kemp’s 92% support from Republicans would seem to put to rest any concerns that his clashes with former President Trump has cost him support within the party. In 2018, Kemp bested Abrams by a count of 50.2% to 48.8%, although the Democrat complained for several years that the election was “stolen” from her through voter suppression.
Candidates in both the Senate and gubernatorial races must top 50% on Nov. 8 to avoid a runoff against their closest challenger, Cahaly noted. He said Kemp seems to be on pace to sew up another term on Election Day, but Walker may not.
“This thing is likely headed to a runoff with Walker leading,” he said. “There’s an outside chance Walker could meet the 50% plus 1 threshold to join Kemp in avoiding a runoff.”
The poll was conducted between October 21 and October 23 and sampled 1,076 likely voters. It has a margin of error of 2.9%.
In the wake of questions about the 2020 election, Georgia passed a package of voter integrity laws which Democrats, including President Joe Biden, claimed were aimed at suppressing the black vote. But so far, early voting is pointing to record turnout for the midterms, which take place on Nov. 8.
Georgia had historically been a red state, but Warnock and Jon Ossoff flipped both Senate seats in runoff elections held in dramatic January 2021 that tilted the U.S. Senate to Democrats. Warnock, however, only won the right to finish out the unfinished term of Republican Johnny Isakson, who retired. Kelly Loeffler had been appointed to the seat a year before the special election could be held and lost narrowly to Warnock.