“Both of these races are very close statistically,” said Trey Hood, a University of Georgia political scientist who conducted the poll.
“There’s a long way to go before the general election, but a trend is emerging with recent polls: Kemp is consistently polling ahead of Abrams and Warnock is polling ahead of Walker.”
Warnock’s slim lead is one of the only bright spots for Democrats in the poll. Republicans are in better shape in the down-ticket races.
President Joe Biden’s approval rating is underwater, with about 60% of voters disapproving of his performance and about 36% who give him a favorable review.
And more than three-quarters of likely voters — 78% — say the country is on the wrong track while only 10% say it’s headed in the right direction. The pessimism pervades every bloc of voters regardless of ideology, age, financial standing or educational background.
The poll of 902 likely voters was conducted July 14-22 and has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points. It was conducted by UGA’s School of Policy and International Affairs.
It’s the first AJC poll since the May primary and June runoff decided candidates in Georgia’s statewide races, and it offered a vivid portrait of the mood of the electorate in one of the nation’s premier battleground states just months before the election.
Facing high energy prices and soaring inflation, the poll found that half of Georgia voters said rising costs were an “extremely important” factor in their vote. Gun violence and abortion were also top issues on voters’ minds.
One reason that the economy outweighs other concerns: A majority of voters show that prices that have climbed 9.1% from a year earlier have had a “significant, negative” impact on the lives of Georgians. An additional 35% said it was a noticeable factor in their daily lives.
The economic woes have also dented Biden’s approval ratings, which have suffered from a lapse of support from middle-of-the-road voters. While only about one-fifth of Democrats disapprove of his track record, roughly two-thirds of independents give him poor marks.
Voters are more split over whether Democrats should retain control of Congress, with 46% saying they want the GOP to take the legislative branch while 41% want Democrats to hold their advantages. About 12% are undecided.
In the lieutenant governor race, Republican Burt Jones edges Democrat Charlie Bailey by 41% to 36%, with 7% backing Libertarian Ryan Graham and an additional 16% undecided. One-third of independents say they haven’t made up their minds yet.
In the contest for secretary of state, Republican incumbent Brad Raffensperger, best known nationally for rejecting then-President Donald Trump’s demand to…