Raphael Warnock has a 5-point lead over Herschel Walker in high-stakes Georgia Senate contest, while Brian Kemp is ahead 6 points against Stacey Abrams in the governor's race: poll
- Warnock has a 47%-42% lead over Walker in the Georgia Senate race, per a new Marist Poll.
- In the poll, Warnock was backed by 94% of Democrats, while Walker earned 83% support among the GOP.
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia holds a five-point lead over Republican challenger Herschel Walker in the state's high-stakes Senate race, according to a new Marist Poll.
The survey showed Warnock with 47% support among registered voters in the Peach State, while Walker garnered 42% support and Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver sat at 4%; seven percent of respondents were undecided.
In the poll, a near-unanimous 94% of Democrats backed Warnock, while the senator peeled off 10% of Republicans and held a nine-point lead over Walker among independents (45%-36%).
Warnock performed strongly in the Atlanta metropolitan area; in the Atlanta suburbs, he edged out Walker by three-percentage points (47%-44%).
The senator — a Savannah native — earned 39% support in the state's GOP-heavy coastal and southeast regions, compared to Walker's 46% support.
Walker — a former University of Georgia football standout and first-time candidate — received the support of 83% of Republicans in the survey.
The ex-NFL player boasted a robust level of support in North Georgia, besting Warnock by 21 percentage points (54%-33%) in the deeply conservative area.
In Georgia, a longtime Republican bastion that in recent years has seen major Democratic gains at the statewide level — underlined by President Joe Biden's 2020 win and the 2021 runoff election victories of Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff — a rural-urban divide is apparent.
Warnock held a massive 76%-19% lead among survey respondents residing in big cities and a 54%-38% advantage with suburban respondents, while Walker fared best with voters in small towns (55%-33%) and rural Georgia (61%-21%).
Democrats currently control the 50-50 Senate by the slimmest of margins — by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote — and the Georgia contest has been seen as a marquee race that could determine which party leads the upper chamber in 2023.
Warnock is seeking a full six-year term after winning the runoff election to fill the remaining term of Johnny Isakson, the veteran Republican lawmaker who retired from the Senate in December 2019 and passed away in December 2021.
Walker has near-universal name recognition in Georgia, due in large part to his long football career, which has given him natural inroads with conservative-leaning Bulldogs fans.
While Warnock has sought to highlight his push to cap insulin at $35 for patients on Medicare and his plan to reduce prescription drug costs for Americans — both of which were included in the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by Biden last month — Walker has tried to paint the senator as too closely tied to the commander-in-chief.
The Marist poll showed Biden with a 39% job approval rating in Georgia, with 55% disapproving of the president's performance.
(A recent CBS News/YouGov poll showed Warnock with a narrower 51%-49% edge over Walker.)
Warnock and Walker are set to meet for their first televised debate in Savannah on Oct. 14.
Abrams vs. Kemp
In the state's other high-profile race, incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp holds a six-point lead (50%-44%) over Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams among registered voters in a rematch of their 2018 contest.
While Abrams earned 93% support among Democrats, she trailed Kemp with independents — securing 41% of their vote compared to 47% for the governor.
Kemp earned the support of 90% of Republicans and boasted an 18-point lead (58%-40%) among white college-educated voters, a demographic that has moved toward the Democratic Party in recent years.
The survey also showed Kemp winning the support of 14% of Black respondents, while Abrams — a former state House minority leader — was backed by 78% of Black Georgians who were polled.
Several recent reports have highlighted Abrams' need to boost her support among Black voters — notably Black men — as she seeks to become the first Black woman elected to a governorship in United States history.
Marist polled 1,202 registered voters from September 12 through September 15; the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
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