Poll: Raphael Warnock holds slim lead over Herschel Walker

An Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey finds U.S. Raphael Warnock leading Republican challenger Herschel Walker within the margin of error, according to WRBL News 3.

The poll, which has a margin of error at +/-3.2%, puts Warnock 2 percentage points ahead of Walker at 49% support to 47% less than one week from the Dec. 6 runoff election. Four percent of respondents were undecided, though asked which way they were leaning, 51% said they preferred Warnock, compared to 49% for Walker. 

Further, respondents expect Warnock to win, with 57% saying they thought he’d pull off a re-election victory regardless of who they supported. Only 43% said the same of Walker. 

Support showed a not surprising generational divide, with Warnock leading with 55% support among voters under 50. Walker, meanwhile, carries the same amount of support among those over 50.

Spencer Kimball, Emerson College Polling executive director, told WRBL News 3 that early voting is breaking for Warnock by about 29 points, at the 63% to 34%, while those who have yet to vote favoring Walker, at 52% to 44%.

Respondents were also asked about hypothetical match-ups in the 2024 presidential election. Bad news abounds for former President Donald Trump there. Asked whether they would vote for him or incumbent President Joe Biden, Biden narrowly led at 44% to 43%. In a race between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Biden, DeSantis commands a 4 point lead, at 47% to 43%. 

That has indications for Walker, a hand-picked Trump candidate. Trump’s waning support among Georgians could impact voters’ willingness to cast a ballot for a Trump-aligned candidate, even if they would otherwise vote for another GOP candidate. The theory jibes with election data already available, which shows Walker earned about 200,000 fewer votes in the November General Election than Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who shared the ballot. 

The Emerson poll was conducted Nov. 28-30 among 888 very likely voters and was weighted for gender, age, education, race, party affiliation and region based on 2022 turnout modeling. 

Early voting is already underway in the Georgia runoff and runs through Friday. Election Day is Tuesday.

Warnock and Walker are facing overtime after neither candidate managed to secure more than 50% of the vote needed to avoid a runoff. Warnock led the General Election by about 36,000 votes. 

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