A new internal GOP poll suggests tight prez, Senate races in Georgia

An internal poll conducted by a group backing Gov. Brian Kemp showed a deadlocked presidential race in Georgia and tight contests for both U.S. Senate seats, underscoring the challenges Republicans face keeping the state in the GOP column.

The poll pegged Joe Biden at 47% of support and President Donald Trump with 46%, within the margin of error of 4 percentage points. A small number of voters – just 5% - said they were undecided and 2% declined to answer.

U.S. Sen. David Perdue led Democratic frontrunner Jon Ossoff by a 43-41 margin, also within the margin of error, in his re-election bid. Libertarian Shane Hazel logged 7% of the vote and 8% were undecided. Ossoff’s top rivals weren’t tested in the GOP poll.

And the pollster pronounced the November special election for appointed Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s seat “wide open.” Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (19%), Loeffler (18%) and Democrat Matt Lieberman (17%) were in a jumble at the top of the 21-candidate race, while Raphael Warnock, backed by national Democrats, was at 9%. About one-quarter of voters were undecided.

The survey, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies between May 4-7 and involved 500 likely voters. It was commissioned by a political action committee supporting Kemp, who appointed Loeffler to the seat, so keep that factor in mind as you weigh its findings.

An internal poll conducted for the House GOP caucus obtained by the AJC earlier this month showed Loeffler in more difficult circumstances, trailing Collins among Republican voters and the general electorate. The group is led by House Speaker David Ralston, a close Collins ally.

Among the poll’s other findings:

  • A slim majority of voters (51%) approve of Kemp's decision in April to allow some shuttered businesses to reopen, while 47% disagree. A higher number (58%) back his move to lift the shelter in place order for most Georgians. About 41% disapprove.
  • Trump has a slight intensity advantage over Biden, with 43% of voters saying they'll "definitely" vote for him compared with 39% who say the same about the Democrat.
  • About three-quarters of voters in the poll agree with this statement: "Even though I am going to continue staying at home, giving certain businesses the right to reopen as long as they follow strict health measures like wearing masks, limiting customers, and practicing social distancing is the right thing to do."
  • On testing, Georgians are roughly split over whether they will take a test as soon as possible (43%) or only if necessary (48%). About 6% said they wouldn't take the test in any case.
  • Roughly two-thirds of voters say they're worried about someone in their family contracting the virus and 44% say they know someone who has been infected.

See for yourself: