ATLANTA – The latest Channel 2 Action News/Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll puts Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams neck and neck with just under two months till the election.
Republican Brian Kemp received 45.3 percent of the support while 44.9 percent of those polled support Democrat Stacey Abrams.
Despite the slim margin between the two candidates, the numbers show a lot of trends across the state.
The fact that it’s this close just two months before the vote is significant, and speaks to the energy behind Democrats trying to win back the state’s top office for the first time in nearly two decades. But a reminder: Jason Carter was also in a statistical tie with Gov. Nathan Deal in polls at this stage in 2014.
The numbers show there is a wide gender gap between the two candidates. Kemp leads among men 53-39, while Abrams has nearly the reverse among women, beating Kemp 50-39.
The racial divide is also quite large between Kemp and Abrams. About 85 percent of African-American voters support Abrams, who is running to be the nation’s first black female elected governor. Roughly two-thirds of white voters back Kemp.
When looking at the economic levels of the voters polled, Kemp won a slim majority of Georgians who make a household income of more than $150,000. Abrams, meanwhile, fares better among lower-income Georgians.
Abrams appears to have consolidated her party’s base. She tallied about 90 percent support from voters who identify as liberals or leaning liberal.
The numbers show Kemp has more work to do to rally conservatives. More than three-quarters of voters who call themselves conservatives back Kemp, but only about 60 percent of moderates who lean conservative say they’re voting for him; one-third of those back Abrams and an additional 9 percent are undecided.
Some 40 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Kemp and roughly one-third have a negative view of him. He fared best with men and voters whose highest level of education was high school.
The numbers show Abrams is more of an unknown to voters. About one-third of poll respondents gave her a favorable opinion, while one-in-five said they weren’t fans. Roughly a quarter of voters had no opinion. She fared best among women and those with graduate degrees.
The Big Issues
Voters in Georgia say the economy is one of biggest issues on their minds. A quarter of poll respondents labeled it the most important factor in their decisions, leading seven other issues.
Health care, public school education and immigration also cracked double-digits. Religious liberty, state taxes, gun laws and infrastructure ranked lower.
The top issue among Republicans was also the economy, followed by immigration.
Democrats said their most important issue was health care, while independents said it was the quality of public school.
Also in the poll were questions about President Donald Trump. His approval rating has taken a big hit in Georgia. About 42 percent of Georgia voters approve of his performance, compared to 51 percent who disapprove. The remaining did not know or refused to answer the question.
A third of the voters polled said they are more politically active since Trump’s election – including nearly half of Democrats.
About 40 percent of voters said they were less likely to back Trump-connected candidates, along with 50 percent of women and 84 percent of Democrats.
On the other side of that, 22 percent of voters overall and 46 percent of Republicans said they were more likely to embraced Trump-connected candidates this November.
When it comes to gender, nearly six in 10 women disapprove of Trump, while only a third support him. Meanwhile, half of men back him.
Current Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal remains hugely popular across the state. About 63 percent of voters approve of his performance, while only one-in-five disapprove.
Deal got marks from nearly half of voters who identify as Democrats and 64 percent who are independents.
About 71 percent of voters are satisfied with the way things are currently going in Georgia. That includes about 90 percent of Republicans and a majority of Democrats.
Nearly two-thirds of the poll respondents said the state’s economy was good or excellent; only 6.5 percent described it as poor.
Information and analysis from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein used in this article.
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