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Kemp Leads Abrams and Warnock Tops Walker in Georgia Poll

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 7/27/2022 Margaret Newkirk

(Bloomberg) -- Georgia’s Democratic U.S. senator, Raphael Warnock, and Republican Governor Brian Kemp lead their respective challengers in a poll released Wednesday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.

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The poll, conducted for the AJC by the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs, found Warnock, who took office in 2021, leading former University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker, a Republican, by 46% to 43%. An additional 8% of voters said they were still undecided. 

Kemp, who narrowly beat voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams in 2018, was ahead of the Democratic challenger by 48% to 43%, with 7% undecided. The rematch is one of the most closely watched gubernatorial races in the US, in part because of Abrams’ role in turning Georgia blue in 2020.

Governor Brian Kemp Holds Primary Election Night Party © Bloomberg Governor Brian Kemp Holds Primary Election Night Party

The poll found voters were crossing party lines in small but potentially significant numbers, both in the state’s two marquee races and in the contest for secretary of state. 

In the Senate race, the crossovers were Republicans: About 4% of Kemp voters favored Warnock over Walker, while 4% favored a third-party candidate and 9% were undecided.

Flight Disruptions Delay Senate Procedural Vote On Chips Bill © Bloomberg Flight Disruptions Delay Senate Procedural Vote On Chips Bill

The party switching was more significant in the race for secretary of state, and was coming from Democrats. Republican Brad Raffensperger leads Democrat Bee Nguyen 46% to 32%. Democrats made up about 16% of the support for Raffensperger, who gained national fame for standing up to former U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his Georgia loss in 2020.


Video: In Georgia, Warnock gains double-digit lead over Walker; Abrams and Kemp in dead heat (MSNBC)

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The surveyed voters listed inflation and the economy as their top issues but also said guns and abortion were concerns. 

Under Kemp’s leadership, Georgia passed a bill removing restrictions on concealed weapons earlier this year.  

A law championed by the governor banning most abortions after six weeks went into effect last week. Kemp signed the ban into law in 2019 but it had been tied up in courts until the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion in June.

The poll surveyed 902 likely voters July 14 through July 22 and had a 3% margin of error. It was the first commissioned by the AJC since Georgia’s primary election in March. 

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