Poll shows Willis holds big lead over Howard in DA’s race

Challenger Fani Willis holds a commanding lead over incumbent Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard heading in to the Aug. 11 runoff, according to a poll conducted over the weekend of 500 likely voters.

Willis attracted 47.1% of the would-be votes, while Howard collected 30.8%, the WSB Channel 2 Action News/Landmark Communications poll found.

Undecided voters accounted for the remaining 22.1 percent. The poll has a 4.4% margin of error, Channel 2 and Landmark said.

Willis, one of Howard’s former top deputy prosecutors, finished first in the Democratic primary held in June with 42% of the vote, not enough to avoid a runoff. Howard, Fulton’s district attorney for 24 years, finished second with 35%.

As the runoff nears, both candidates have been fiercely attacking one another, both during online debates and in ads. Howard has criticized Willis for accepting donations from police unions. Willis has condemned the DA for the sexual harassment complaints filed against him. (Howard strongly denies the allegations.)

Credit: Hyosub Shin

Credit: Hyosub Shin

In the poll, Willis dominated Howard among would-be white voters, with a 62.6% to 17.6% edge. Howard held a slight advantage among Black voters, with 39.8% to Willis’ 37.8%.

Howard also held a slight lead (37.7% to 35.7%) among voters in south Fulton, while Willis attracted 60.7% of the voters in north Fulton, compared to Howard’s 11.3%, the poll found. Willis also held strong leads among both male and female voters.