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Former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) trails both her potential Republican opponents in her second bid to become governor, according to a new The Hill/Emerson College poll that found a highly polarized electorate divided across racial lines.

The survey found incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leading Abrams by a 51 percent to 44 percent margin. Former Sen. David Perdue (R), who is mounting a primary challenge against Kemp, leads Abrams by a 49 percent to 44 percent margin.

Kemp, then Georgia’s secretary of state, beat Abrams in 2018 by a margin of just 1.4 percentage points, or about 55,000 votes out of nearly 4 million cast.

The survey found Kemp a relatively weak incumbent. Only 42 percent of voters approve of the job he has done as governor, the same share that disapproves.

“When it comes to polls, 7 in 10 Georgia voters oppose the Kemp-Perdue criminal carry bill and 7 in 10 oppose the Kemp-Perdue denial of Medicaid access to 500,000+ Georgians. We can’t control polls that will more than likely underestimate the power of Georgia’s voters of color or the commentary from pundits who were wrong about Georgia in 2020 and 2021, but we can make sure Georgians learn about the record of our eventual opponent, whether it’s Brian Kemp, David Perdue, or Kandiss Taylor,” said Seth Bringman, an Abrams campaign spokesman.

But Abrams’s party has suffered as President Biden’s approval rating sags, too. In Georgia, just 42 percent of voters approve of the job Biden is doing in Washington, while 49 percent disapprove.

“Every single public poll shows Governor Kemp is the only Republican who will beat Stacey Abrams this November. It is past time for David Perdue to realize he is the only thing standing in the way of Georgia Republicans achieving that goal,” said Cody Hall, Kemp’s campaign spokesperson.

Jenni Sweat, Perdue’s campaign spokeswoman, countered that, “These numbers once again show Kemp is in serious trouble. An incumbent stuck in the low 40s both on the full ballot and in a head-to-head matchup is the definition of a sinking ship.”

“Kemp realizes he’s in trouble with conservatives and is spending millions attacking Perdue. Those attacks aren’t working, and Perdue’s numbers will rise when he goes back on TV. If you’re undecided at this point, you’re likely not going back to the incumbent. Perdue is in a strong position to win this primary and become Georgia’s next governor,” she added.

“When it comes to polls, 7 in 10 Georgia voters oppose the Kemp-Perdue criminal carry bill and 7 in 10 oppose the Kemp-Perdue denial of Medicaid access to 500,000+ Georgians. We can’t control polls that will more than likely underestimate the power of Georgia’s voters of color or the commentary from pundits who were wrong about Georgia in 2020 and 2021, but we can make sure Georgians learn about the record of our eventual opponent, whether it’s Brian Kemp, David Perdue, or Kandiss Taylor,” said Seth Bringman, an Abrams campaign spokesman.

The Perdue campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Republican candidates lead on the strength of their performance among white voters, the poll found. More than three-quarters of white voters say they would support either Kemp or Perdue over Abrams.

The poll shows Abrams leading by substantial margins of about 40 points among Black voters, who make up about a third of Georgia’s electorate. But her advantage among those voters is likely to grow, as more than a third of Black voters say they remain undecided.

Abrams, who has spent the four years since her last contest running an organization that registers and turns out voters, posts big leads among the youngest cohort of voters, while both Kemp and Perdue lead among those who are over 50 years of age.

“Abrams’s chances in November depend in large part on whether or not these younger voters turn out,” said Spencer Kimball, who conducted the survey for Emerson College Polling.

The poll is the third survey this year to show Kemp leading Abrams. Surveys from Quinnipiac and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both from January, showed Kemp scoring in the high 40s, but below the crucial 50 percent mark. The Quinnipiac survey showed Abrams tying Perdue, while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed Perdue leading by four points.

The Emerson College poll conducted for The Hill surveyed 1,013 registered voters between April 1-3, for an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Updated at 2:38 p.m.

Tags Biden Brian Kemp Brian Kemp David Perdue David Perdue Georgia Georgia Senate race Joe Biden Stacey Abrams

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