Republican Herschel Walker holds a narrow lead over incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in a hypothetical matchup in the race for U.S. Senate in Georgia, according to a poll published Wednesday.
The poll, taken by Emerson College Polling and the Hill from April 1 to 3, found Walker with a four-point edge over Warnock. Walker received 49 percent support compared to Warnock’s 45 percent support, while six percent of respondents said they were undecided on a candidate.
The poll was conducted among 1,013 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.
Walker, a former University of Georgia football star and Heisman Trophy winner, has for months polled narrowly ahead of Warnock, and always within the polls’ margins of errors, indicating a highly competitive general election is on the horizon. The race will also be closely watched nationally as it is one of just a handful that could determine next year’s Senate majority.
While the general election poll results are close, Walker continues to be seen as a shoo-in for the Republican primary, holding a wide lead — albeit a slimmed-down one — over his challengers.
In the primary, Walker came in at 57 percent, followed by Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black with 13 percent and several others candidates with single-digit support. Sixteen percent of respondents said they were undecided.
The Republican primary poll questions were conducted among 509 likely primary voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent.
The poll overall suggests Democrats are facing an uphill climb in the battleground Peach State. Like Warnock, the poll found Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams narrowly trails her potential Republican opponents. The pair of Democrats, who are two of the most well-funded candidates in the country, are also competing in a midterm year that, historically speaking, is expected to bode well for Republicans.
Warnock, a longtime pastor and skilled speaker, has gone so far as to dub himself “the most vulnerable Senate Democrat up for reelection” as he seeks to build up his fundraising numbers ahead of the general election phase of the race.
Warnock’s messaging has appeared successful as the Georgia Democrat finished the final quarter of 2021 as the top fundraiser in the country, amassing $9.8 million and reporting a monster sum of $23 million in cash on hand.
Walker, who also closed out 2021 as one of the strongest fundraisers in the country, is competing in the race with top endorsements from dueling factions of the Republican Party, that is, from former President Donald Trump and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
In terms of age demographics, the poll showed Walker performed better with voters over the age of 49, while Warnock performed far better with voters under the age of 30.
The poll also showed relatively even splits among voters’ varying education levels, except with those who had the lowest level of education, meaning a high school degree or lower. Walker outperformed Warnock by more than 20 percent with that group of voters.