Gov. Brian Kemp continues to lead former Sen. David Perdue in Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary race, but if a runoff were to occur, the race would become much tighter, according to a poll released Wednesday.
The poll, conducted by Emerson College Polling and the hill from April 1–3, found Kemp to hold an 11-point lead over Perdue in a full primary poll, with Kemp receiving 43% support compared to Perdue’s 32% support.
Of the 509 likely Republican primary voters polled, 17% said they were undecided, while three other primary candidates received single-digit support.
While these early poll results are consistent with the past two months of polls showing Kemp with a firm lead over Perdue, the incumbent governor’s low score of 40 indicates a runoff could follow the primary as the primary winner must reach 50. % of the vote for an outright victory.
In a hypothetical runoff between Kemp and Perdue, the race narrows considerably, with Kemp getting 44% to Perdue’s 39%, while 16% of respondents are undecided.
Perdue campaign spokeswoman Jenni Sweat said in a statement provided to Breitbart News that the poll results meant Kemp was in “serious trouble.”
“An incumbent stuck in their 40s on both the full ballot and in a head-to-head matchup is the definition of a sinking ship,” Sweat said. “Kemp realizes he has problems with Tories and is spending millions attacking Perdue.” She added, “Perdue is in a strong position to win this primary and become Georgia’s next governor.
Perdue, a wealthy businessman and former one-term senator, received backing from former President Donald Trump as soon as Perdue announced he was challenging Kemp in December, and the former president’s endorsement grew. a central part of the Perdue campaign. Perdue launched its first television ad of the cycle showing Trump speaking directly to voters and heavily touted Trump’s support throughout the campaign trail. Trump has raised funds and rallied for Perdue as well as endorsed candidates who align themselves with Trump’s anti-Kemp campaign, which Trump has continued over his grievances against Georgia’s 2020 election process.
The poll, however, found that a majority of respondents, 58%, who were undecided on a gubernatorial nominee, felt Trump’s endorsement of Perdue had no impact on their voting decision. Another 23% of the undecided said Trump’s endorsement made them less likely to vote for Perdue, while 19% said it made them more likely to vote for Perdue.
The Kemp campaign found reason to celebrate the poll, noting that Perdue’s rallying and spending hadn’t helped the former senator close the polling gap between himself and Kemp at this point.
“After a Perdue rally and $3 million spent by the former senator and his allies since February to throw mud at Brian Kemp, the governor still holds a double-digit lead,” the campaign spokesperson said. Cody Hall in a statement. “It’s clear Georgians aren’t buying what David Perdue is selling.”
The poll also showed that in hypothetical general election matchups against presumptive Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams, Kemp outperformed Perdue. Kemp led Abrams by seven points, 51% to 44%. Perdue led Abrams by five points, 49% to 44%.
Hall added, “Every public poll shows Governor Kemp is the only Republican to beat Stacey Abrams in November. It’s high time for David Perdue to realize he’s the only thing stopping Georgia Republicans from achieving that goal.
The two candidates are due to face off in their first debate, hosted by WSB-TV, on April 24, with the primary taking place on May 24.
The Emerson/hill poll was conducted among 1,013 registered voters in Georgia and had a margin of error of plus or minus three percent. The Republican primary ballot questions were conducted with 509 likely Republican primary voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3%.
Write to Ashley Oliver at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.