Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate in this year’s Georgia’s governor’s race, is essentially tied with incumbent Republican Brian Kemp in new polling from Quinnipiac University. Kemp leads by only one percent, well within the margin of error.
Among likely voters, the governor nabbed 50 percent of the support, and Abrams got 49 percent. Abrams and Kemp are running against each other for the second time. In the span since their first match-up, Abrams, who is a former state legislative leader, has further established herself as a voting rights activist. She was involved in campaigning around ultimately unsuccessful pushes for voting rights protections in the Senate (thanks for nothing, Joe Manchin), and in her state of Georgia, she has been involved in grassroots work reaching out to individual voters. In sharp contrast, Kemp has presided over the implementation of suppressive new restrictions around elections, including changes to mail-in voting — demanding voter ID and limiting ballot drop boxes — that don’t connect to any real-world issues of election fraud. Kemp faced a Trump-backed primary challenge from former Sen. David Perdue, who lost by over 50 percent.
A September survey from Quinnipiac University found Abrams and Kemp at almost the same positions, although Abrams secured just 48 percent of the support last month. In the new poll, Abrams was ahead of Kemp by one percentage point among independents, with 49 percent of their backing. Biden, of course, scored a surprise win in Georgia in the 2020 presidential race, and afterwards, Georgia voters selected two Democrats as their new Senators, replacing a pair of Republicans (including Perdue). Per the Quinnipiac numbers released this month, opinions among Georgia voters of Abrams and Kemp aren’t far apart, although it would obviously be different respondents providing a favorable view of each candidate. A full 49 percent of likely voters shared a favorable opinion of Kemp, while 44 percent expressed an unfavorable one. Abrams was at 48 percent favorability and 47 percent unfavorability. The candidates were scored exactly the same by voters on honesty and care for “average Georgians.”
In the Georgia Senate race, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who would secure a full term of six years if successful in this November’s high-stakes election, is faring somewhat better than Abrams in polling. Warnock was seven percent ahead of Republican challenger Herschel Walker per Quinnipiac. Holding the Georgia Senate seat would be critical to Democrats’ hopes of holding the Senate, which forecasts suggest the party has a good chance of doing. Warnock and Walker have yet to face each other for a debate, although Walker is now facing accusations of paying for an abortion — something obviously revealing a startling (even if ultimately unsurprising) level of hypocrisy by a Republican politician. Walker also faces accusations of abuse. He has credited past issues on his part to mental health difficulties, although he has also incessantly lied about his background, claiming accolades for himself and his business career that just aren’t real. He said he led the largest minority-owned food company in the United States — which was false.