Georgia is already a hotbed of political spending as Democrats try to maintain their momentum in the state—and a new poll shows the race between former NFL player Herschel Walker (R) and incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) is neck-and-neck.
A survey by Data for Progress conducted between July 1 and July 6, exclusively shared with The Daily Beast, shows Walker narrowly leading Warnock by 49 percent to 47 percent. Both candidates fell into negative favorability ratings, as Walker received a -3 favorability while Warnock received a -7.
The Georgia Senate seat is one of the Democrats’ top priorities this year as they hope to maintain power in Congress’s upper chamber. But with the party forecast to face massive headwinds during the midterm elections while President Joe Biden’s favorability continues to spiral, Democrats in Georgia, like many other states, could be facing an uphill battle.
But there have been glimmers of hope for Warnock’s re-election bid. Walker has been plagued by scandals, most recently reports by The Daily Beast that he has at least three children he’d kept secret from the public, despite speaking against absentee fathers throughout the campaign. And other polls have shown Warnock and Walker as tied, while another had Warnock leading by 10 points.
Though the latest poll shows Warnock down from those previous numbers, Data for Progress founder Sean McElwee told The Daily Beast he sees it as “a more accurate reading of the race,” noting their research shows Republicans are invested in economic issues this cycle while Democrats continue to focus on party values.
Walker has consistently hammered economics as a tenet of his campaign, railing against Democrats for inflation and gas prices throughout his candidacy.
The gubernatorial race between Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams and Republican incumbent Brian Kemp is not nearly as close, according to the poll. The survey found that 53 percent of respondents said they’d vote for Kemp compared to only 44 for Abrams. Kemp also had a +3 favorability rating, compared to Abrams’ -9.
Previous polling shows Kemp and Abrams in a close matchup, with a June Quinnipiac poll having them tied.
Abrams campaign spokesperson Alex Floyd told The Daily Beast in a statement, “There have been plenty of polls in this race all saying different things over the last few months, but the reality is our campaign is strong and gaining momentum every single day.”
Tate Mitchell, Kemp campaign spokesperson, told The Daily Beast in a statement that they’re expecting a close and expensive race, arguing that Abrams’ “liberal pals” will “flood Georgia with money to enact their dangerous agenda.”
The research surveyed 1,131 likely voters in Georgia via text and web and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.