Brian Kemp (center) arrives at an event with other statewide Republican candidates and local elected officials. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

On the Georgia trail: A suburban foray, another tight poll, The View 

Cumming – It was something of a rare sight in the general election campaign: Republican Brian Kemp darting on Tuesday from one northern Atlanta suburb to another on Tuesday trying to rev up conservatives.

Though his campaign headquarters is in Atlanta, the bulk of his bus tour visits have centered on rural Georgia areas he needs to win by big margins to defeat Democrat Stacey Abrams. 

Less attention, from the candidate at least, has been devoted to the densely-populated and competitive suburbs that ring Atlanta. There were more than a few operatives who privately expressed a sense of relief to see Kemp showering attention on the area.

His stops in Cumming and Woodstock attracted hundreds of voters, and he had other visits scheduled in Marietta and Roswell. Democrats have put a bullseye on the close-in suburbs, which were once solidly conservative but transformed into swingier territory with Donald Trump’s victory.

It’s also the home to Georgia’s two most competitive U.S. House seats and both incumbents – Karen Handel and Rob Woodall – joined Kemp at several of the stops. So did U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, one of the chamber’s top Republicans, who warned of energized Democratic turnout. 

In Cumming, voters munched on free pork barbecue and applauded as most of the GOP ticket emerged from a pair of crowded buses that rumbled into a large vacant field across the street from a gas station. 

Voters waited patiently in line for selfies with Kemp and Gov. Nathan Deal, but one of the bigger attractions was Geoff Duncan’s son Ryder – who stars in a TV ad for his father’s bid for lieutenant governor

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On that note, we’ve got yet another poll released by Fox 5 News in Atlanta pointing toward a neck-and-neck conclusion. 

The poll had Abrams leading Kemp 48-47 – the latest in a string of surveys within the margin of error. It’s also the latest that point to a possible runoff, since no public poll has either candidate above the 50-percent threshold needed to avoid a Dec. 4 matchup. 

The methodology of the poll is unclear, but you can check it out here.

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Stacey Abrams kicked off her day with an appearance on The View, where she earned applause for repeating her call to ban assault rifles like AR-15s, which she called a “weapon of mass destruction.” 

“Let’s be clear, I’m not anti-gun,” she opened. “However, I know that responsible gun owners understand they have responsibility for the firearms. And making sure that only responsible people have those firearms.”

She said there needs to be a “national conversation” about gun rights as she argued that new restrictions don’t infringe on Second Amendment protections. 

It quickly became part of her opponent Brian Kemp’s attack: He dinged her for appearing on national TV a week before the election. 

Watch the clip here:


Later, Abrams greeted about 350 people in the heart of LaGrange, one of the largest turnouts on her bus tour. 

After giving her stump speech, she cut a path to the 

Up Next Barber Shop, where she spoke as employees cut and styled hair between pauses to applause. 

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Cleveland – Brian Kemp’s first stop of the day brought a moment of introspection. 

After an emotional chapel service at Truett McConnell College, Kemp took the stage with a more personal message to the hundreds of students arrayed before him.

“The last week of the campaign is very hectic. You never know what’s going to be flying out of left field,” he said. “But we know God’s got a plan for our family. And we will find out what that plan is next week.”

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