Raphael Warnock, the Democratic Senator from Georgia running for re-election against Trump-backed Republican Herschel Walker, is leading his GOP opponent by 3 percent in a new poll.
The poll is the work of Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research, who were commissioned to conduct the survey by AARP. Among overall respondents, Warnock had 50 percent of the support, while Walker had 47 percent. Walker led among voters 50 and over, with 52 percent compared to 46 percent who went for Warnock. The poll unfortunately found Democratic gubernatorial contender Stacey Abrams, whose career includes time in the state legislature and work as a voting rights activist, running noticeably behind Republican Brian Kemp, the incumbent running for re-election in Georgia’s ongoing governor’s race. Kemp had 52 percent, and Abrams had 45 percent. The survey targeted likely voters.
Other recent polls found both Walker and Warnock in the lead in Georgia, so the race seems likely to turn out close. A Quinnipiac University poll from last month found Warnock with a whopping lead of 10 percent, garnering 54 percent of the support compared to just 44 percent for Walker. The Georgia Senate seat on the ballot this year is among those considered most able to be flipped — Warnock won the position with a notably small leading margin of just 2 percent over then-incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler, and Joe Biden won the state in the 2020 presidential race by less than one-fourth of one percentage point, so the state clearly seems closely divided. Warnock will have a full, six-year term if he wins this year. Previously, he won just two years in office and has been serving out the final portions of the last term of the late Johnny Isakson, a former Georgia Senator. Other high-profile 2022 Senate races include contests in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
In Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, GOP Senate incumbents are retiring — although Democrats don’t appear to hold equally good chances of winning in every one of those states. Another high-profile Senate race is unfolding in Arizona, where Democrat Mark Kelly — currently serving the final years of the late John McCain’s last term — is running for re-election. The Arizona GOP Senate primary has yet to take place; it’s scheduled for early August. Trump recently endorsed extremist Arizona candidate Blake Masters, who seemingly has a ready-to-go stream of dangerous far-right nonsense as the campaign moves forward. Masters recently released an ad proclaiming there’s an “invasion” of undocumented immigrants at the southern border, which is the same sort of rhetoric used by the mass shooter who attacked a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, killing almost two dozen. Masters has had strong showings in polls, although large numbers reported themselves to be undecided.
Polling pitting Kelly against potential general election challengers has consistently found the Democratic incumbent leading by a lot, although margins could shrink after the GOP primary takes place and the party presumably at least mostly coalesces behind a single candidate. Kelly won his original election by a margin of almost 2.5 percent. Pennsylvania polling also suggests Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman will trounce GOP pick Mehmet Oz, aka Dr. Oz. In a recent poll, Fetterman led by a full 9 percent.