Former football star Herschel Walker has a wide, early lead in the GOP primary to take on Sen. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDemocrats face critical 72 hours Manchin shutting down Sanders on Medicare expansion Manchin says framework 'should' be possible this week MORE (D-Ga.) in Georgia next year, according to a poll that shows him dominating the rest of the field by a nearly 70-point margin.
The poll from the Atlanta-based Trafalgar Group shows Walker garnering the support of 75.7 percent of likely Georgia GOP primary voters, while his nearest Republican rival, state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, notches only 6.3 percent support.
Two other Republican candidates, banking executive Latham Saddler and businessman Kelvin King, registered in the poll at 2.7 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. Another 13.2 percent of respondents say they’re undecided.
The poll suggests that Walker, a former running back at the University of Georgia who had a lengthy career in the NFL and has been touted by former President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE, is by and large the favorite to challenge Warnock next year in one of the closest-watched and most competitive Senate races of the 2022 midterm cycle.
Walker flirted with a potential Senate bid for months, drawing the encouragement of the former president, before finally announcing his campaign last month.
Since then, he’s kept a relatively low profile on the campaign trail. He’s attended fundraisers and sat for interviews with friendly media outlets, but has yet to hold a public campaign rally. Over the weekend, he appeared at his alma mater to support the Bulldogs in their home opener.
The lack of public campaign events, however, doesn’t seem to be costing Walker any support among Georgia Republicans. For one, he already has high name recognition in the state and earlier this month secured the formal endorsement of Trump, who remains the most influential Republican in the country.
The Trafalgar Group poll surveyed 1,078 likely GOP primary voters in Georgia from Sept. 2 to 4. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points.