Kemp clears 51% in new AJC poll, with Senate race headed toward runoff

Brian Kemp maintains lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams in nationally watched governor’s race
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 1:48 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2022 at 2:19 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Control of the U.S. Senate could be determined in a runoff between incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, according to a new poll from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The poll, which was conducted Oct. 16-27 among included 1,022 likely Georgia voters, shows Walker with 46% and Warnock with 45%, well within within the poll’s 3.1 percentage point margin of error. Libertarian Chase Oliver has about 5% support, with 5% undecided.

The Senate’s balance of political power could be determined by the outcome of Georgia’s race.

Currently, there are 50 Republicans in the Senate and 48 Democrats, but the Senate’s two Independents caucus with Democrats, meaning the body is split at 50-50. Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, casts any tie-breaking votes.

Warnock won his current seat in a January 2021 runoff against Kelly Loeffler, who had been appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill the unexpired term of Johnny Isakson, who had resigned due to health reasons. Warnock’s win, along with Jon Ossoff’s ouster of then-incumbent David Perdue, gave Georgia two Democratic U.S. senators for the first time in decades.

Walker and Warnock could face each other in a December runoff if neither captures a majority of the vote.

Gov. Brian Kemp, according to the poll, continues leading Democrat Stacey Abrams by a margin of 51% to 44%. Libertarian Shane Hazel is polling at 2%.

The poll, whose full results can be found here, was conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Georgia is on pace to cast more than two million early ballots this week, as early voting in the state’s nationally watched 2022 midterm elections enters its final week.

As of Saturday morning, more than 1.3 million voters had already cast ballots, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Friday’s total of 138,421 total marks 36% above day 12 of 2018 midterm early voting. Georgia has had record early voting turnout since it began Oct. 17.