Fox News poll: Walker gaining ground in Georgia Senate race

After two extended U.S. Senate elections in 2020, the peach state faces another nail biter as Republican nominee Herschel Walker closed the gap on Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock. Georgia law has a 50 percent requirement for victory, and with the race close, the fight could be headed for a runoff.

The latest Fox News poll of Georgia registered voters, released Wednesday, shows it’s roughly even, with Warnock just 1 point above Walker: 44% to 43%. In September, the Democrat was up 5 percentage points; in July he held a 4-point lead.

Georgia voters have made their choice in the 2022 Senate race.

Georgia voters have made their choice in the 2022 Senate race.
(Fox News)

The competition shifts in Walker’s favor if he focuses solely on those who say they have already voted or will vote: 45% Warnock, 46% Walker. In September it was 47-43% Warnock.

Georgia voters who have already voted or are likely to vote on their preference in the 2022 Senate race.

Georgia voters who have already voted or are likely to vote on their preference in the 2022 Senate race.
(Fox News)

This pro-GOP movement can be attributed to Walker supporting his base. 87 percent of Republicans support Walker, up from 82 percent in September. However, there are still doubts as 10% of GOPers are undecided to vote or not to vote for someone else.

In contrast, Warnock has consistently maintained support from over 9 out of 10 Democrats. He also has the advantage among independents, who support him at 47% to 17%.

Key demographics determine each candidate’s support: Black voters, women, voters under 45 and urban voters support Warnock, while white evangelical Christians, men, voters 65 and over and rural voters support Walker.

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The issue of inflation also helps the former Heisman winner. At 38%, this is the top concern for Georgians, up from 28% in July. And among inflation voters, Walker leads by 43 points. Abortion is the next priority at 18% and electoral integrity is third at 12% – both groups falling by at least 40 points for Warnock.

More Republicans (50%) than Democrats (44%) are more excited than usual to vote in this year’s election.

Overall, 45% are thrilled and break 10 points for Walker. The other half (46%) think “as usual” when voting and prefer Warnock by 11 points.

Yet more Warnock supporters are more enthusiastic about him (63%) than Walker (49%). The other half of Walker’s supporters have reservations (22%) or just don’t like the opposition (27%).

Voter enthusiasm and level of support in the 2022 Georgia Senate race.

Voter enthusiasm and level of support in the 2022 Georgia Senate race.
(Fox News)

Voters are 7 points more likely to think Walker is unqualified (38%) than Warnock is out of touch with ordinary Georgians (31%).

Problems Georgia voters have with every Senate candidate.

Problems Georgia voters have with every Senate candidate.
(Fox News)

“The enthusiasm gap between Walker and Warnock supporters could be the difference here,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News poll with Republican Daron Shaw. “In a razor-thin race, the side with enthusiasm should have more success in getting their voters to the polls.”

In the gubernatorial race, positive approval ratings help incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp maintain his advantage over Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams, but don’t get him above 50% of the voting preference.

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Kemp is 6 points ahead of Abrams (49% to 43%), about the same as last month (50% to 43%).

Voters in Georgia on their gubernatorial preference.

Voters in Georgia on their gubernatorial preference.
(Fox News)

Fifty-seven percent approve of the work Kemp is doing as governor, but only 82 percent of them support him for re-election. Twelve percent spilled over to Abrams.

Brian Kemp's approval rating for Georgia governor.

Brian Kemp’s approval rating for Georgia governor.
(Fox News)

Among those who say they will certainly vote or have already voted, the race remains relatively the same (50% Kemp, 43% Abrams).

Eight percent are undecided, would choose someone else or not choose at all.

Abrams supporters (69%) are slightly more enthusiastic about her than Kemps (64%).

Both candidates enjoy unified grassroots support in their party (92% Democrat for Abrams, 94% Republican for Kemp), while the Independents break 20 points (45-25%) for Abrams.

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“The question in Georgia is whether we’re going to see split-ticket or straight-ticket voting,” Shaw says. “If the Republicans who vote for Kemp swallow their reservations and support Walker, the GOP will likely sweep the top races. If not, Warnock could well be re-elected.”

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Co-led by Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News poll, conducted October 26-30, 2022, includes telephone interviews (landline and mobile) with live interviewers among 1,002 voters Georgia, which happened to be from a statewide voter database. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.

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