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A Quinnipiac University poll published on Wednesday suggests that Democratic candidates running for Senate and governor in Georgia are faring much better than they were just a few months ago — and are on possible paths to victory come November.
The poll asked voters which candidates they’d prefer to vote for if the election were being held today. In the governor’s race, Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams tied with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, in a rematch of their 2018 gubernatorial race in which Abrams narrowly (and controversially) lost.
Both candidates received 48 percent support from respondents in the poll. When it came to favorability ratings, however, Abrams did better — Kemp garnered a net honesty rating of +6 points among Georgia voters, while Abrams’s rating was +10 points, for example. When asked whether each candidate cares about the average Georgian, Abrams again did better, attaining a net +16 points on the question, compared to Kemp’s rating of +9 points.
Meanwhile, in the Senate race, incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock — who won a close race in a special election in 2020 — is breaking away from his Republican opponent, former NFL player Herschel Walker. In Quinnipiac University’s January poll, the two candidates were in a statistical tie, with Walker leading Warnock by 1 point. Now, however, Warnock leads Walker by double-digits.
If the election were held today, 54 percent of Georgia voters would opt to reelect Warnock, while 44 percent would prefer Walker, the poll found.
Walker’s support is likely dwindling due to a number of controversies he has been involved in over the past several weeks, including falsely claiming that he once worked in law enforcement and claiming to have never heard former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election being stolen in Georgia. It was also discovered in the run-up to the Quinnipiac poll that Walker, who has frequently criticized fathers who are absent in their children’s lives, is himself the father of three children that he has not previously acknowledged, beyond the one son he has spoken about from a past marriage.
The poll also asked about Georgians’ opinions on President Joe Biden. According to the survey, Biden has an approval rating of only 33 percent among residents in the state, with 60 percent of voters saying that they currently have a negative view of his job performance.
Those low numbers are typically a bad sign for an incumbent president’s political party in midterm races, but as the Quinnipiac poll shows, Biden’s low approval is not necessarily affecting other Democratic candidates.
Indeed, in a nationwide NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released earlier this week, Biden also fared poorly, attaining a 40 percent approval rating and a 53 percent disapproval grade. Still, when asked who they would vote for in a generic congressional vote, respondents were more likely to say that they’d vote for a Democratic candidate (48 percent) than a Republican one (41 percent).
Democrats are hopeful that polls like these mean they’ll be able to retain control of both houses of Congress, in spite of it being a midterm election year that conventional wisdom says Republicans will likely win. Many experts have said that in order to win elections, Democrats should embrace more progressive ideas than Biden, as both Warnock and Abrams have done in their Georgia races.
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