UGA Poll: Trump builds leads in Georgia, race for Senate tightens

President Donald Trump said at a news conference Saturday that  22 patients in the United States have coronavirus and more are likely.

Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

President Donald Trump said at a news conference Saturday that 22 patients in the United States have coronavirus and more are likely.

President Donald Trump has built sizable leads in Georgia over his top four challengers, according to a University of Georgia poll released Wednesday, while the competition for the state’s wild “jungle” U.S. Senate race remains wide open.

The poll showed the president had the widest edge over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, beating him by a 52-41 margin, and the smallest lead over former Mayor Mike Bloomberg at 50-42. Trump led former Vice President Joe Biden by a 51-43 clip and held a 52-42 advantage over U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

In the race for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s seat, the incumbent was neck-and-neck with U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a four-term congressman who qualified to challenge her this week. Matt Lieberman, the son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman, was the only Democrat of the four polled who tallied double-digits.

The poll was conducted by UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs from Feb. 24-March 2 and included 1,117 likely general election voters. The margin of error is 2.9 percentage points.

It's the same polling outfit that has conducted previous Atlanta Journal-Constitution polls, most recently in January, though this one wasn't commissioned by the newspaper.

The poll pegged Trump’s approval rating in Georgia at roughly 54%, the latest encouraging number for the president as he races to keep the state in the GOP column. Democrats hope to flip Georgia for the first time in a presidential race since 1992, when Bill Clinton carried the state.

It showed a yawning gender gap in the race for president, with Trump snagging about 60% of the likely male voters and Democrats with roughly half of women voters. Voters who are 45 and older solidly backed the president, while younger voters were more likely to support the Democratic challengers.

The race for Loeffler’s seat, a free-for-all contest with no primaries to filter out nominees, is as volatile as ever. And one-third of voters were undecided, including 40% of African-American voters.

Loeffler, a financial executive who took office in January, tallied 19% of support and Collins had 21% - within the margin of error. Collins has a 9-point lead among Republicans, while Loeffler has a slight edge with independents.

Lieberman, an entrepreneur and political newcomer, led the Democratic field with 11% of the vote. Trailing him with 6% of the vote is Raphael Warnock, the establishment-backed candidate who recently entered the race. Former prosecutor Ed Tarver had about 4% of the vote.

Georgia’s other U.S. Senate race was not polled. That contest pits Republican incumbent David Perdue against three top challengers competing to challenge him: Sarah Riggs Amico, Jon Ossoff and Teresa Tomlinson.

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