By STEVE WILSON
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) — A new poll by Rasmussen Reports gives Republican challenger Herschel Walker a 5-point lead over Georgia Democratic U.S. Sen. Rafael Warnock in their race, one of several pivotal to control of the U.S. Senate.
The key demographic for Mr. Walker is independent voters, which he leads Sen. Warnock by a 14-point margin, 49% to 35%. And this despite Sen. Warnock’s three dollars to every dollar the former Heisman Trophy winner’s campaign has raised.
The same poll of 1,053 of likely Georgia voters offers more good news for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. His lead is 51% to 41% over Democratic challenger Stacy Abrams. Like with Mr. Walker, unaffiliated voters are breaking in a big way, 49% to 32%, for the incumbent.
On a generic ballot question for Congress, 49% of respondents said they’d vote for Republicans while 39% said they’d vote for a Democrat. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, carried the state over Republican former President Donald Trump by the slimmest of margins, 49.5% to 49.3%, in 2020; in 2016, Mr. Trump rolled past Democrat Hillary Clinton 50.8% to 45.6%.
Rasmussen’s poll was conducted Sunday and Monday. The margin of error is 3 percentage points and level of confidence 95%.
The Rasmussen poll shows a race that is moving toward Mr. Walker after being considered a dead heat a week before.
According to an aggregation of polls on RealClearPolitics, Sen. Warnock leads the race by 2 percentage points in the Insider Advantage and East Carolina University polls, but Mr. Walker leads in the Rasmussen and DW/Trafalgar polls.
Mr. Walker is far behind in cash disparity. According to data from the Federal Election Commission from Sept. 30, Sen. Warnock has raised more than $111 million, while Mr. Walker has raised more than $37 million as of Oct. 19. For those keeping score at home, Mr. Walker has raised 33.3% as much as the first-term Democratic senator.
That mirrors Sen. Warnock’s $125 million haul in 2020, when he outpaced then-U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who raised more than $92 million.
Sen. Warnock then beat Ms. Loeffler by 93,000 votes in a Jan. 5, 2021 runoff.