Georgia showdowns: Warnock leading Walker by 10 points, Kemp and Abrams tied, according to new poll

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    A new public opinion poll indicates that Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is leading Republican challenger and football legend Herschel Walker by double digits in battleground Georgia’s crucial Senate showdown.

    The survey by Quinnipiac University released on Wednesday also suggests that the 2022 gubernatorial rematch between conservative Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic challenger and voting rights champion Stacey Abrams is a dead heat.

    Warnock leads Walker 54%-44% among Peach State registered voters, according to the poll which was conducted June 23-27. That’s a dramatic swing from Quinnipiac’s last poll in the Georgia Senate race, which indicated the contest was basically tied in January. An East Carolina University survey, conducted in early June, also pointed to a dead heat.


    Walker, who won a Heisman Trophy and helped steer the University of Georgia to a college football national championship four decades ago, jumped into the GOP race to face off against Warnock last summer after months of support and encouragement to run for the Senate by former President Donald Trump, his longtime friend. Walker trounced a handful of GOP rivals in last month’s Republican Senate primary.

    Georgia Senate candidates Herschel Walker and incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.
    (Republican National Convention/Handout via REUTERS | Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS)

    Republicans see Warnock, the pastor at the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach and who defeated GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler by a razor-thin margin to capture the seat a year and a half ago, as very vulnerable as he runs for reelection. The race is one of a handful across the country that could determine if the GOP wins back in November’s midterms the Senate majority they lost when Warnock and now-Sen. Jon Ossoff swept Georgia’s twin Jan. 5, 2021 runoff elections.

    The survey indicates that Warnock’s overall 10-point lead is fueled by a 62%-33% advantage over Walker among independent voters, and a double-digit lead among females compared to Walker’s single-digit margin among males. Warnock leads 88%-10% among Black voters, while Walker wins the support of White voters 62%-35%.


    Warnock enjoys a 49%-37% favorable/unfavorable rating, while Walker’s underwater at 37%-42%. 

    “Herschel Walker fumbles on honesty and tumbles on favorability as Raphael Warnock surges ahead in the race for senator,” Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy noted.

    The poll was conducted in the weeks after the Warnock campaign and allied Democratic groups started targeting Walker over what they call his “bizarre or false statements.” A TV ad by Warnock’s campaign that launched earlier this month spotlights past comments by Walker saying that had a “dry mist” that would “kill any COVID on your body.” 

    Walker’s also been dinged by numerous reports that he overinflated the success of his businesses and has been playing defense regarding a number of personal controversies — from allegations of past abuse to children his fathered out of wedlock.


    Thanks to his legendary status among many in Georgia and his immense, favorable, name recognition in the Peach State, Walker instantly became the overwhelming front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination and basically ignored the field of lesser-known primary rivals, declining to take part in debates as he focused his campaign on Warnock. Some Republican strategists are now concerned that Walker is unprepared for the incoming fire that he’s starting to receive during the general election campaign.

    Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams speaks with reporters on the day of the Georgia primary, in Atlanta, GA. on May 24, 2022. 

    Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams speaks with reporters on the day of the Georgia primary, in Atlanta, GA. on May 24, 2022. 
    (Fox News )

    The Quinnipiac poll indicates Kemp and Abrams are tied at 48% support in the gubernatorial battle, essentially unchanged from the school’s January survey. The East Carolina University survey — the only other poll conducted this month — indicated Kemp with a mid-single digit advantage.

    The Quinnipiac survey shows Abrams with a 10-point lead among independents, and points to wide gender, race, and age divides.


    Malloy noted that “with both candidates getting positive numbers on honesty, empathy and leadership, Kemp and Abrams are in a Governor’s race too close to call.”

    Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia celebrates his primary night renomination victory, on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia 

    Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia celebrates his primary night renomination victory, on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia 
    (Fox News )

    According to the survey, inflation (at 41%) is the most important issue facing Georgia voters, followed by gun violence (15%), abortion (10%), and election laws (10%).

    The Quinnipiac poll questioned 1,497 registered voters in Georgia, with an overall sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

    Fox New’s Thomas Phippen contributed to this report

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