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Monmouth poll finds Georgians divided on trusting Walker, Warnock to handle key issues in Senate

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@SenatorWarnock/Twitter
A new poll shows Rev. Raphael Warnock is viewed favorable by a majority of Georgia voters.

Neither Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock nor his Republican opponent Herschel Walker have a decisive upper hand when it comes to winning Georgia voters' trust on several key issues, according to a new Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.

Locked in a tight battle for what could be the deciding vote in the U.S. Senate for the second election in a row, Warnock and Walker have similar levels of support among people who say they will vote this November. 45% of voters surveyed say they will either definitely or probably vote for Warnock, compared to 41% for Walker, though it is important to note this poll is not a typical horse race head-to-head matchup.

“More voters have definitely ruled out a candidate than are certain to back either Warnock or Walker," director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute Patrick Murray said in a release. "That means a sizable group of voters will end up casting ballots for someone they are not sold on — that is, if they turn out to vote at all."

Overall, Warnock is viewed more favorably by voters than not (48% to 44%), while Walker is underwater with a negative favorability rating (42% to 48%).

Unsurprisingly, the top issues for voters heading into the midterms are inflation and the economy, while illegal immigration and abortion are also top concerns. Notably, voters believe Warnock is better trusted to handle jobs, the economy and cost of living issues, defending your values, abortion and immigration, while Walker is more trusted on gun control.

“The two candidates are evenly matched when it comes to key economic issues, but Warnock has a slight edge on democracy concerns," Murray said. "The economy may be a higher priority for most Georgia voters, but this group tends to be less motivated to go to the polls than other voters. This is one reason why Warnock is holding on against Walker despite the drag caused by a weak Democratic brand in Georgia."

The survey of 601 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points and was conducted Sept. 15 to Sept. 19.

More voters view the Republican Party more favorably than former President Donald Trump and Trump more favorably than Herschel Walker, according to the poll. And Warnock is viewed more favorably than Joe Biden, who has a better impression than the Democratic Party.

Several polls of Georgia's Senate race have been released in recent days showing some combination of Warnock and Walker leading within the margin of error, suggesting another close election in a state that has been decided by just thousands of votes in recent elections.

This story comes to WUGA through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.

Stephen Fowler is the Producer/Back-Up Host for All Things Considered and a creative storyteller hailing from McDonough, Georgia. He graduated from Emory University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. The program combined the best parts of journalism, marketing, digital media and music into a thesis on the rise of the internet rapper via the intersectionality of social media and hip-hop. He served as the first-ever Executive Digital Editor of The Emory Wheel, where he helped lead the paper into a modern digital era.