ATLANTA - A new InsiderAdvantage/FOX 5 Atlanta poll shows incumbent Brian Kemp with a comfortable lead over former U.S. Sen. David Perdue and avoiding a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor.
The poll puts Kemp at 54% and Perdue at 38%. Trailing the two front-runners are Dr. Kandiss Taylor at 4%, and both Catherine Davis and Tom Williams at 1%. Two percent of the people surveyed were either undecided or had no opinion.
Gov. Brian Kemp and former US Senator David Perdue are vying for the Republican nomination for Georgia governor in 2022. (Georgia Office of Governor / US Congress)
The statewide poll of 750 likely voters in the Republican primary which was conducted between Thursday, April 28 and Sunday, May 1 has a margin of error of 3.6%.
The release of the poll comes the day after the candidates squared off in an Atlanta Press Club debate, and on the first day of early voting in Georgia.
InsiderAdvantage Chairman Matt Towery said, "This survey was conducted up to and including the night of the most recent Atlanta Press Club debate. Given that the debate had all the excitement of a tax audit, it is extremely unlikely that it impacted numbers in any meaningful way.
Towery believes Gov. Kemp had his best debate performance of the three televised contests Sunday night. Kemp has gained eight percentage points since the last InsiderAdvantage/FOX 5 Atlanta poll.
According to Towery, "Our poll does show a more reasonable spread and a slightly closer contest than other recent public polls conducted in the contest. However, indications are that voter turnout will be less than robust, and turnout in Georgia gubernatorial contests always requires a much tighter screen in polls to determine who truly is likely to vote. If the election were held today, we feel confident that Kemp would win."
Towery also pointed out factors working against Perdue.
Towery said, "Perdue has been badly outspent in the race. That shows in a question we asked as to how enthusiastic voters are about their choice. Fifty-five percent of those who chose Kemp were enthusiastic about their choice. Thirty-seven percent who said they were voting for Perdue said they were enthusiastic about voting for him."
Even though the candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump trails in the poll, Towery still sees popularity for the former President among Georgia Republicans. According to Towery, "Trump’s favorable rating among respondents was close to eighty percent. So far, his popularity has not been enough to push Kemp into a runoff."
Going into the last weeks of the campaign, Towery sees Perdue’s chances of winning the nomination as slim.
Towery said, "Absent a full court press focusing on issues that propelled the Youngkin race in Virginia, those of crime and school indoctrination, or some last-minute unexpected issue, Perdue will be hard-pressed to force this race into a runoff. His resources are too thin, and the messaging has not moved enough voters as of the start of early voting."
The Republican primary takes place on May 24th with the winner facing Democrat Stacey Abrams in the November general election.
Abrams who lost to Kemp in the 2018 General Election is the only Democrat on the ballot.