(WJBF) — A brand new poll released Thursday morning shows incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock with a slight edge over challenger Herschel Walker with just five days left until their runoff for one of Georgia’s seats in the U.S. Senate.
Warnock leads in the latest polling
The WJBF/The Hill/Emerson College poll shows Warnock, a Democrat, with 49 percent of support, and Walker, a Republican, with 47 percent of support. Four percent of those polled were undecided, however, with their support allocated, Warnock leads Walker 51 percent to 49 percent.
Regardless of support, 57 percent expect Senator Warnock to be re-elected, while 43 percent expect Walker to win.
“Warnock’s base lies with voters under 50, a 55% majority support him for re-election, whereas Walker holds a similar 55% majority among voters over 50,” said Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, “The early vote breaks for Warnock by about 29 points, 63% to 34%, whereas those who have yet to cast their ballot break for Walker by eight points 52% to 44%.”
Kimball says those polled believe a Walker win would surprise the majority of voters, even with the ballot test being well within the poll’s margin of error.
“About 1 in 5 Republicans expect their nominee to lose. This reflects a significant shift since the last pre-general election poll earlier this month, where voters were nearly 50-50 if Warnock or Walker would win,” said Kimball.
Prominent issues and a hypothetical presidency
The economy remains a top issue for Georgia voters, with 43 percent saying it is the most important issue in determining their vote in the run-off, followed by “threats to democracy” (13%) and abortion access (12%).
Since the general election, the economy has decreased in concern by three percentage points, while concern for “threats to democracy” and abortion access increased one point each.
President Biden holds a 42 percent approval rating among runoff voters, with 52 percent disapproving of the job he is doing as president. Biden’s approval rating from before the general election has increased by one percentage point, but his disapproval remained steady.
In a hypothetical 2024 Presidental Election between Biden and former President Trump, 44 percent of those polled said they would vote for Biden to Trump’s 43 percent. Eleven percent of voters would vote for someone else, and two percent were undecided. If the election was between Biden and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, however, 47 percent would vote for DeSantis and 43 percent would vote for Biden. Six percent would vote for someone else, while 4 percent remain undecided.
“Among women, Biden leads Trump by seven points. Against DeSantis, Biden’s lead shrinks to two points. Among men, Trump leads Biden by eight, and DeSantis leads Biden by 11,” said Kimball.
The WJBF/The Hill/Emerson College Polling survey of Georgia voters was conducted November 28-30, 2022. The sample consisted of very likely voters, n=888 with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.2 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, age, education, race, party affiliation and region based on 2022 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using a cellphone sample using SMS-to-web, an online panel, and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines.