Georgia governor’s job approval rating ticks up to 45 percent: poll

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R) approval rating is trending upward, but remains well below where it was little more than a year ago, according to a new poll from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kemp won the approval of 45 percent of Georgia voters in the survey, marking a slight uptick since January when a similar poll found his approval sliding to 42 percent. A January 2020 survey by the newspaper showed his job approval standing at 59 percent.

The drop in Kemp’s overall approval rating over the past 16 months reflects the political damage dealt by former President Trump in the months since the 2020 election, when President Biden became the first Democrat to carry Georgia in a presidential race since 1992.

Trump sought for months to pressure Kemp and other top Georgia officials to overturn the outcome of the election, falsely claiming that voter fraud and systemic irregularities had tainted the results. 

Kemp, a staunch conservative who won his office in 2018 with the support of Trump, rejected the former president’s pleas to reverse his loss in Georgia. Since then, Trump has repeatedly attacked the governor and vowed to campaign against him in 2022 when he is up for reelection.

Trump’s influence over Georgia Republicans was made clear in The Journal-Constitution’s latest poll. Fewer than 7 in 10 Republican respondents said they approve of Kemp’s job performance. Among conservatives, that number was even lower, at 63 percent. 

Still, the poll shows that Republican voters overwhelmingly favor a new voting law passed by the state General Assembly in March and championed by Kemp. Eighty-one percent of GOP respondents gave the measure a nod of approval, while 74 percent of conservatives said the same. 

Overall, however, Georgians are closely divided on the new suite of voting measures, with 46 percent of those polled approving and about 44 percent disapproving. The new law effectively changes large parts of Georgia’s elections system, including by requiring voters to provide a state-issued ID to request and submit absentee ballots and by limiting the use of ballot drop boxes that made their debut in the state last year.

The new law has drawn intense criticism from Democrats and voting rights activists, who have compared it to the Jim Crow laws that suppressed Black voters in the South for decades. It has also drawn severe corporate backlash, with companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines condemning the law. 

Major League Baseball also made the decision last month to pull its All-Star game out of Atlanta in response to the new law. That move, however, doesn’t appear to have gone over well with Georgia voters. 

The Journal-Constitution poll found that a majority of Georgia voters surveyed — 53.5 percent — oppose the MLB’s decision to relocate its All-Star game from the state, while little more than one-third — about 36 percent — back the move. While the decision appears popular among Democrats, it has widespread opposition from Republican and independent respondents, who said 52 percent to 27 percent that they disagree with the move.

The poll of 844 voters was conducted for the newspaper by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs and was fielded from April 20-May 3. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Tags 2020 election 2020 midterms Brian Kemp Donald Trump Georgia governor Georgia politics Joe Biden Polling

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