Incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker are effectively tied in Georgia’s Senate runoff, according to the first poll of the race.
In a poll of 500 likely voters conducted by New Impact and FabrizioWard for the AARP, Warnock received 51% support, while Walker garnered 47%. Conducted from Nov. 11-17, the poll had a margin of error of 4.4%. Notably, independent voters said they would support Warnock by a 54%-39% margin.
Georgia law requires a runoff if no general election candidate clears 50% support. Warnock received 49.2% support in the Nov. 8 general election, while 48.7% of voters supported Walker. Libertarian Party candidate Chase Oliver received about 2.1% support. (RELATED: Herschel Walker And Raphael Warnock Head To Runoff In Georgia Senate Race)
New Impact (D)/FabrizioWard (R) poll of the GEORGIA RUNOFF for AARP finds:
Warnock (D-inc) 51
Walker (R) 47
Among Indys Warnock leads 54-39
Biden 43 approve/54 disapprove
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) November 22, 2022
A Walker win would force another 50-50 split in the Senate, forcing Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell to come to another power-sharing agreement. A Warnock win would give Democrats clear control of the upper chamber and majorities on all committees. To help bring Walker across the finish line, Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has given the McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund (SLF) donor and registered voter lists. SLF is putting at least $2 million towards get-out-the-vote efforts.
Two-time failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is helping Warnock with voter turnout efforts, and former President Barack Obama will appear at a rally for the incumbent Dec. 1. Former President Donald Trump has reportedly expressed interest in campaigning for Walker. However, some Georgia Republicans believe he would hurt the challenger’s chances in the race, according to Politico.
Walker has been dogged by allegations that he encouraged at least two mistresses to have abortions, while Warnock’s church has been accused of violating Georgia non-profit law while operating a low-income apartment complex. Both men have been accused of domestic violence against their ex-wives.