Trump has narrow lead over Biden in Georgia, Warnock gaining ground in senate race

September 23, 2020
1 min read

There’s been little movement since summer in either the presidential race in Georgia or Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s re-election bid, according to a new Monmouth University poll.

But Democrat Raphael Warnock has made the Peach State’s other Senate contest a three-way race, according to a Monmouth Polling Institute telephone survey of 402 registered Georgia voters conducted Sept. 17-21.

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden remain locked in a tight race in Georgia, with Trump’s slight lead of 47% to 46% well within the poll’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.9%. Trump and Biden were even at 47% in Monmouth’s July Georgia poll.

Perdue, who is seeking a second six-year term, leads Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff 48% to 42%, the same six-point margin of 49% to 43% the GOP incumbent held in July. The difference is Libertarian Shane Hazel’s support has increased from 1% to 4%, while the percentage of undecided voters has shrunk from 7% to 6%.

Warnock, pastor at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, has scored major gains in the other Senate race, a special election with a crowded field of 21 candidates looking to complete the last two years of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term.

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp late last year to fill the seat on an interim basis, is holding a narrow lead in the Monmouth poll at 23%. Gainesville Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, who is leaving his Northeast Georgia congressional seat to run for the Senate, is close behind at 22%.

Warnock, who was languishing in fourth place in July with just 9%, has climbed to 21% in the new poll, good for third place.

“Back in the summer, it looked like this seat might be a Republican lock, but Warnock has started to consolidate Democratic voter support,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “We could see a two-party contest … after all.”

Warnock’s gains have come largely at fellow Democrat Matt Lieberman’s expense. Support for the son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut has fallen from 14% in July to 11% in the new poll, dropping him from third place into fourth.

“Warnock has been racking up Democratic endorsements over the past month to emerge as the party’s choice,” Murray said.

With so many candidates in the race, a runoff is likely. Georgians will have to go back to the polls in January if none of the candidates receives more than 50% of the vote on Nov. 3.

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