ATLANTA - Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp are in a virtual tie in the race to be Georgia's next Governor, according to a poll released Wednesday by the research company Ipsos, in partnership with Reuters and the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
The poll shows Republican Brian Kemp with support from 47 percent of likely voters, with Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams at 46 percent.
The poll found the top issues for likely Georgia voters to be healthcare and the economy. According to the survey, 43 percent of likely voters feel Abrams has the better health care policy, while 38 percent say Kemp has the better policy.
On another key issue, immigration, the poll found 46% of likely voters feel that Kemp has a better policy, while 36 percent feel that Abrams has the better policy.
Kemp has come under recent criticism for his support of Georgia's "Exact Match" law which has kept 53,000 voters from being verified to cast ballots because of identification problems.
But Kemp says the law is constitutional and similar to legislation in Florida. He points to record voter registration in Georgia ahead of the midterm elections as proof of his willingness to register voters.
Me,anwhile Abrams is running on a progressive platform and described herself as an unapologetic liberal. She opposes "religious freedom" laws that allow private businesses to refuse service based on religious beliefs, which aligns her with incumbent Governor Nathan Deal, who vetoed such legislation.
Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Abrams, while President Trump has endorsed Kemp.
Abrams and Kemp announced that they will meet Oct. 23 in a debate sponsored by the Atlanta Press Club and broadcast by Georgia Public Broadcasting. They will follow that with a second debate on November 4.