Two new polls show Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock leading Herschel Walker, the Republican challenging Warnock this November in his race for re-election.
Warnock is leading Walker by 4 percent in new polling from Fox News that surveyed registered voters. In the poll, Warnock had 46 percent of the support, while Walker — who has Trump’s backing heading into the general election and already won the relevant primary — had 42 percent. The other new survey showing Warnock in the lead came from the Environmental Voter Project and was conducted by Beacon Research. Among likely voters in Georgia, Warnock nabbed 48 percent of the support, while Walker got 43 percent. Warnock garnered the same level of support among the broader group of all Georgia voters surveyed in that poll, rather than just the likely-to-vote respondents. Walker, though, slipped to 36 percent among all voters.
Further polling data from both Fox and the Environmental Voter Project adds positive signs for Dems. In numbers from both sources, John Fetterman — the Democrat who’s lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania and his party’s pick for Senate there — led Trump-endorsed challenger Mehmet Oz, aka Dr. Oz, by 11 percent. In the environmental group’s polling, that lead was specifically among likely voters, among whom Fetterman got 50 percent, while Oz got 39 percent. Overall, chances look good for Democrats to retain control of the Senate after the midterm elections conclude. As of Friday morning, the elections analysis site FiveThirtyEight gave Democrats a slightly better chance than Republicans of holding the Senate once the midterm elections are over: the site put Democratic chances at 56 percent and Republicans at 44 percent. Decision Desk HQ, another leading site in the field of elections data and analysis, also projects Democrats will hold the Senate as of early Friday.
Interestingly, Fox polling found notable differences in enthusiasm in support for Democrats vs. Republicans in both Pennsylvania and Georgia. In Georgia, a full 69 percent of Warnock’s supporters expressed enthusiasm about their candidate, while just 51 percent of Walker’s backers said the same regarding the GOP contender. A full 31 percent of Walker’s supporters in the Fox poll indicated “reservations” about their support for the Trump-backed candidate. Only 18 percent of Warnock’s supporters also indicated so-called reservations in the context of their Senate preference.
Enthusiasm for Oz in Pennsylvania was even lower — while 68 percent of Fetterman’s supporters evidently indicated enthusiasm about their choice, just 35 percent of Oz’s backers indicated the same stance. If a particular Senate race is close, then a difference in enthusiasm among key supporters could make even more of a difference. Imagine if Election Day rolls around, and it’s time for those who’ve yet to vote to cast a ballot or miss their chance. With key Dems leading on enthusiasm, it’s clear who’s in a stronger position. Democrats are also running substantially ahead of comparable Republicans in fundraising. In the second quarter of this year, Warnock’s online fundraising total was higher than the combined total raised through Republicans’ online fundraising platform WinRed by the current or “presumptive” GOP Senate picks in over half a dozen states, including Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, according to The New York Times.