New InsiderAdvantage/FOX 5 poll shows statewide races could head to runoffs

A new InsiderAdvantage/FOX 5 Atlanta poll released Friday shows the top three statewide races in Georgia are extremely tight.

In the race for governor, incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp leads Democrat Stacey Abrams with 49% versus her 44%.  Libertarian Shane Hazel polled at 3%.  Two percent of the voters polled said they planned to support another candidate and two more were undecided.  

The race for U.S. Senate is even closer; incumbent Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock leads Republican challenger Herschel Walker with 48% compared to 45%.  Libertarian Chase Oliver garnered 3% with 1% of voters selecting "other" and 3% undecided.  

"The possibility that we could see a scenario where we're living through 2020 all over again, particularly in the U.S. Senate race, which seems to be pretty tight, there is some room for decision there," explained InsiderAdvantage Chairman Matt Towery. "It could end up being a win straight out for one of the two candidates, but all of these races bear watching because of the shift in Georgia demographics."  

Towery said the only candidate who appears to be in a "comfortable" position heading into November is Republican Burt Jones, who is running for lieutenant governor.  The poll showed him leading with 43% over Democrat Charlie Bailey, who had 37%. Libertarian Ryan Graham polled at 4% with 16% undecided.  

The poll surveyed 750 likely November voters on July 26 and 27.  

At a campaign event Friday, Gov. Brian Kemp dismissed the poll results.

"I'm not worried about any damn poll right now," said Kemp. "I think the news is trying to lull our side to sleep by having me polling good. So, I would tell my folks don't believe any polls. We gotta continue working like we've never worked before on our ground game.  We have to continue to raise money from people in Georgia that are supporting this campaign, because literally you have billionaires and people that don't think like us and that they can't vote here that are funding Stacey Abrams' campaign."  

The Abrams campaign, however, took the poll as a positive sign.  

"After months of attacking our campaign and lying about Stacey Abrams’ record while trying to cover for his own extreme agenda, Brian Kemp is in a dangerous position for an incumbent governor," said Alex Floyd, a spokesperson for the Abrams campaign.  "Poll after poll continues to show that our campaign’s strategy is paying off and Brian Kemp lacks support from a majority of Georgia voters. Voters don’t want extreme bans on abortion that lead to women being investigated for miscarriages and doctors being locked up for treating them — or reckless gun policies that make it easier for criminals to carry loaded, hidden guns in public. We’ve always known this race would be close, and polls continue to show us gaining momentum and building a historic multiracial coalition in Georgia."

Walker also put a positive spin on the results when asked about the new poll numbers Friday.

"With that poll like that after them spending that amount of money, you know, we got a lot of time.  Come November, Herschel Walker will be your Senator for the great state of Georgia," said Walker.

Meanwhile, Warnock's campaign took a similar stance to Gov. Kemp.  

"There are going to be polls in all directions over the course of this campaign. Here’s what we know: this race will be close, which is why we can’t take anything for granted and are working hard every day to reelect Reverend Warnock, so he can continue fighting in the Senate to protect and save jobs, lower costs for hardworking families and stand up for Georgia servicemembers and veterans," said Quentin Fulks, Warnock's campaign manager.