Polling out of Hotly Contested Georgia Offers a Window Into Democrat Woes

AP Photo/Steve Helber

Clearly, election night this coming November is not shaping up to be a good one for Democrats. The historical trends alone all but guarantee they lose the House of Representatives, and the contemporary trends are no better, pointing to a large Republican wave that could also decisively shift power in the Senate.

Yet, in the midst of all that darkness for Democrats stands the state of Georgia. Sure, they are probably going to get beat in Florida and Arizona, but Georgia is supposed to be different. It’s trending the opposite way, representing an oasis in the political desert for a party that will be thirsty for a big win in November.

Except that may not actually be the case. We finally have some polling out of the hotly contested state of Georgia, and though things are close, it’s not good news for Democrats. I’ll explain why that is soon enough, but first, here are the numbers.

The dynamics of these results are interesting. On the one hand, Trump-endorsed Herschel Walker is leading Democrat incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock by a point, with the former nearly reaching 50%. On the other hand, Trump-maligned incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp is leading his primary challenger and is actually up two points on Stacey Abrams in a head-to-head matchup.

David Perdue is not an exciting figure, so it doesn’t surprise me that Kemp would be leading him by a sizable margin. And in the end, wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who hate Kemp aside, there is going to be little to no difference in governance between the two. Nothing is gained by turning the mid-terms into a misguided revenge tour, and I think whoever represents the best matchup against Abrams is who should be preferred. To see her lose again would be one of the highlights of election night.

Regardless, forgetting the intraparty fighting on the Republican side, I see these numbers as bleak for Democrats. This is supposed to be the state that they are favored in, but it appears things are a toss-up at best and lean-Republican at worst. Further, Quinnipiac was a poll that way overestimated Democrat support in Georgia (and many other states) in 2020. If there’s any kind of left-leaning house effect left in their methodology, Walker and Kemp could actually be up 3-4 points right now.

Throw in the large enthusiasm advantage the GOP currently has, and the Republicans should probably be favored right now. That’s a disaster for Democrats. Georgia was their Alamo. They lose there on election night and it means a full-scale collapse has occurred.

In the end, I’m bullish on Republicans doing well. I understand that Georgia has become more difficult to win because of shifting demographics and the growth of the Atlanta metro area. Still, I’m not at all convinced the state is any more lost forever than Florida was when it turned blue for a time, and the political environment for Democrats in November is going to be horrendous. If the Republican candidates are doing this well in Georgia this far out, that’s nothing but good news for the GOP.