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Poll: Abrams and Kemp in tight race in Georgia; Trump's approval up

Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

ATLANTA -- Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams remain locked in a tight race for Georgia governor less than a month before the election, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/WSB-TV poll that showed an increasingly dwindling number of undecided voters.

The poll showed Kemp ahead of Abrams 47.7 percent to 46.3 percent, a statistically insignificant difference within the poll's 2.8 percentage point margin of error. Libertarian Ted Metz had 2.3 percent of support, and a slim 4 percent of voters are undecided.

The Sept. 6 AJC/WSB-TV poll showed the candidates deadlocked at 45 percent with 7 percent undecided.

The new poll is the latest to suggest the possibility of a runoff in December if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, though that seems unlikely given the Libertarian's low support.

The poll holds encouraging news for each political party.

Republicans were likely to cheer the rising approval rating for President Donald Trump, which has edged up roughly 4 percentage points since the September poll, settling at 46.6 percent. His disapproval rating remains steady at about 50 percent.

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And Democrats could point to Abrams' strength among independents and her party's core supporters -- both groups that she needs to rally to win the race. Her strategy depends on expanding the state's electorate to capture left-leaning voters who often skip midterms.

Further down the ticket, the poll painted a different picture of two of the other top contests.

In the lieutenant governor's race, Republican Geoff Duncan leads Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico 45.4 percent to 39.3 percent with 15.3 percent undecided. Republican Brad Raffensperger appears to have a slight edge of 41.4 percent to 36.8 percent over Democrat John Barrow.

The poll was conducted Sept. 30 to Oct. 9 by the University of Georgia's School of Public and International Affairs. It included 1,232 likely general election voters who said they had voted in recent contests and said they were definitely or probably going to vote in November.

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