The final poll for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been taken and it’s looking good for Governor Kemp. He is on track to win re-election without the need for a run-off. In the Senate race, Republican Herschel Walker is slightly, oh so slightly, ahead of Democrat incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock. Plan on a run-off in the race. Neither candidate has reached the 50% mark.
Kemp leads Abrams 51% to 44% with an additional 2% backing Libertarian Shane Hazel. This is a slight tightening from the 10-point lead Kemp had in an earlier poll conducted for Georgia media outlets this month. Abrams has increased her support from black voters, which has been the focus of her campaign in the last weeks. She has gained about 10 points in support from black voters since the last AJC poll, consolidating 87% of their support. Abrams leads Kemp 54% to 32% among independent voters.
The poll was conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.
The poll was conducted Oct. 16-27 and included 1,022 likely Georgia voters.
The survey was weighted to reflect the overall electorate in terms of age, gender, race and education. Party identification, which is changeable and not a known quantity in Georgia, was not used as a weighting factor. About 50% of poll respondents described themselves as Republicans, 41% as Democrats and 9% independents.
Republican voters are coming home in the last days of the campaign but the poll finds that about 6% of Kemp supporters are voting a split ticket. They support Kemp but they split their ticket by also voting for Warnock. About 5% are voting or Oliver. So far, more than 1.6 million Georgians have already voted.
In the all-important Senate race, Walker is slightly ahead at 46% and Warnock is at 45%. This race is within the margin of error, which is 3.1 percentage points. Libertarian Chase Oliver is at about 5% and 5% are undecided. Split ticket voting may cause a run-off. The poll found a small, yet significant, portion of Republican-leaning voters who are withholding support from Walker. It’s not the scandals that have emerged during the campaign that are turning off these voters. It’s the fact that they don’t think Walker is an honest or trustworthy person.
The former football player’s history of violent behavior and pattern of falsehoods, as well as recent allegations that he pressured two ex-girlfriends into having abortions, haven’t appeared to change the dynamic of the race. The Democrat’s support was in the mid-40s in the last three AJC polls, while Walker has also remained flat.
Still, the poll indicates a slight majority of Georgia voters say they don’t think Walker is honest, while only 39% say he’s trustworthy. Among those who doubt Walker’s credibility are 15% of Republicans and three-quarters of independents.
And about half of likely voters say he doesn’t have “good leadership skills” and that they don’t think he understands the issues he’ll deal with in office. Asked about how Walker “handles himself personally,” 52% of likely Georgia voters dislike the way he handles himself, while 35% say they like it. Most believe he cares about average Georgians.
Warnock is seen as more honest than Walker by about half of Georgia voters. Voters say he has good leadership skills and two-thirds believe he understands the issues o the office. About 55% say he cares about the average Georgian. And voters like the way he handles himself.
Warnock leads Walker 47% to 40% on abortion and I think the abortion issue weighs on independent voters. It’s a strange world when a pastor supports abortion until the time of delivery and is supported more than a candidate who is pro-life. Yes, the issue is complicated by Walker’s past with women who he allegedly insisted have abortions, but voters seem to have moved on from those allegations. Warnock has some real baggage of his own and that includes doubling his personal income during his first year in office.
Joe Biden is dragging down Warnock and other Democrats in Georgia. He is as unpopular in Georgia as he is in the rest of the country. You’ll notice that desperate Democrats deployed Obama to Georgia last weekend to campaign for both Abrams and Warnock. Sleepy Joe was doing what he normally does on weekends – he was in one of his homes in Delaware. In the last days leading up to an important midterm election, hidin’ Biden is nowhere to be seen on the campaign trail. That speaks volumes. Democrats had to dust off Obama and send him out to rally the base to turn out and vote.
One senior citizen summed the Senate race up in very practical terms. It’s all about the control of the Senate.
Craig Covell, an 80-year-old retiree from Lawrenceville, said he only trusts about half of what Walker says. He added that it’s “kind of sad” that he emerged as the party’s nominee. But he’s still voting for him for one reason.
“I prefer Herschel Walker over Warnock simply because I don’t want Democratic control of the Senate,” Covell said.
Mr. Covell is right. Both candidates are flawed yet there is a binary choice to be made. The question is which party do you want to be in control of the Senate? We’ve seen what Democrat control of the House and Senate during the Biden administration has done to our country. The House will be flipped, of that I am certain. The Senate is up for grabs and Republicans have the momentum. Let’s hope it’s not squandered. It’s time to put a halt to Biden’s progressive agenda and treat him like the lame duck president he will be after election day next week.