A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll conducted between September 5-16 reveals the state appears to be tilting to the political Right once again.
The 2020 election was disastrous for Republicans in the state, as the Democrats won both Georgia senatorial races in runoffs and thus took control of the U.S. Senate. Some reports said that former President Trump’s claims of election fraud in the November election discouraged GOP voter turnout in the run-off elections.
Emory University political science professor Bernard Fraga pointed out that the steepest decline in voting between the November election and the January runoff occurred among Republican voters.
But the latest AJC poll for the 2022 election shows the GOP leading Democrats in all the key races.
GOP senatorial candidate Herschel Walker leads incumbent Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock 46%-44%; GOP Gov. Brian Kemp is running far ahead of Democrat Stacey Abrams 50% to 42%; GOP state Sen. Burt Jones is leading Democrat Charlie Bailey 43%-33%; GOP Attorney General Chris Carr crushing Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan, 45% to 35%, and Georgia’s top election official, GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, walloping Democratic state Rep. Bee Nguyen 50%-31%.
The poll found that among the 51% of respondents who “strongly” disapprove of President Biden, roughly 36% were independents.
In 2021, over 750,000 voters did not vote in the January runoff elections after they had voted in the November presidential. An AJC poll at the beginning of February 2021 found that more than 75% of Republican voters believed there had been widespread voter fraud in the presidential election.
What was particularly galling for Republicans losing the Senate by way of two runoff elections was that in November, Senator David Perdue gained 49.7% of the vote to be ahead of Democrat challenger, Jon Ossoff, who garnered 47.9% of the vote. Because of Georgia law, a candidate who won but did not get 50% of the vote had to face a runoff election against his opponent.
Thus Perdue, who received 2,462,617 votes, needed less than 14,000 votes to reach the 50% plateau that would have ensured his victory and kept Senate control in Republican hands.
But when he did not reach the 50% plateau, a runoff was required. In the runoff against Ossoff, Ossoff won by roughly 55,000 votes, a number Perdue would likely have been able to overcome with normal GOP voter turnout.