Biden pulls ahead of Trump in Georgia

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has opened up a slight lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia less than a week before Election Day, according to a new poll.

The statewide survey of 504 registered Georgia voters conducted by New Jersey’s Monmouth University Polling Institute Oct. 23-27 found Biden’s support at 50% and Trump’s at 45%. The poll’s margin of error is plus-or-minus 4.4%.

More than half (58%) of the voters surveyed said they had already cast their ballots. Among that group, Biden enjoyed a huge lead, 55% to 43%. Trump held a 48% to 44% advantage among those who had yet to vote.

“Trump is likely to win the Election Day vote. The question is by how much,” said Patrick Murray, the polling institute’s director. “The Democratic voters left on the table at this point tend to be less engaged and thus harder to turn out. So, it is still possible for Trump to make up his deficit in the early vote.”

In demographic breakdowns, Trump held a solid lead among voters ages 65 and older, 58% to 42%. That’s a bit less of an advantage than the 61% to 36% margin for Trump in a Monmouth poll released last month.

However, Biden holds a 54% to 40% lead over Trump among voters under 50 years old, up from his 47% to 42% lead with this group last month.

No Democrat running for president has carried Georgia since Bill Clinton won his first term in the White House back in 1992.

Meanwhile, Democrats running for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats also fared well in the Monmouth poll.

Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff narrowly leads Republican Sen. David Perdue, 49% to 46%, well within the poll’s margin of error. Perdue was six points up on Ossoff in two previous surveys Monmouth released last month and back in July.

In the other contest, a blanket primary with 20 candidates on the ballot to fill the unexpired term of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson, Democrat Raphael Warnock holds a big lead with 41% of the vote. Warnock has gained steadily, up from 21% last month and just 9% in July, mostly at the expense fellow Democrat Matt Lieberman, who has fallen in the Monmouth poll to just 4% from a high last summer of 14%.

Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, appointed to the seat by Gov. Brian Kemp late last year, and GOP U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville are in a close battle for second, with Loeffler holding the advantage 21% to 18%.

“Loeffler and Collins are now battling it out for a spot in the runoff,” Murray said. “It may come down to who is seen as the stronger Trump loyalist among Republican voters.”

With no one likely to win more than 50% of the vote, the margin needed to avoid a runoff, the expected second round between Warnock and either Loeffler or Collins would be held in early January, possibly determining whether Democrats take control of the Senate or Republicans keep their majority.