President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are locked in a tight race for Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, according to a poll released by Monmouth University Wednesday.
A random statewide sample of 402 registered Georgia voters taken between July 23 and July 27 found Trump and Biden tied with 47% of the vote. Three percent said they will vote for Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, and another 3% were undecided.
“There is a lot of parity between the two candidates,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Trump has a lock on his base, but Biden is performing much better than [2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary] Clinton did in key swing areas.”
Trump carried Georgia by 5 points in 2016, continuing a Republican run of success in presidential elections in the Peach State that began in 1996.
But Democrats gained ground in 2018, capturing a congressional seat in Atlanta’s northern suburbs and posting victories in several state House districts in suburban areas of metro Atlanta. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams lost to Republican Brian Kemp two years ago by a narrow margin.
According to the Monmouth poll, Biden is showing strength in those same areas, holding a 58% to 38% lead in 14 swing counties, including Gwinnett and Cobb, where the vote margin was closest between Trump and Clinton in 2016.
Trump is dominating among white voters, while Biden enjoys overwhelming support among Black voters. Biden also holds a sizeable lead among independents, 53% to 21%.
Meanwhile, Republicans are leading in both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate races. U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who is seeking a second six-year term, holds a 49% to 43% lead over Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, according to the Monmouth poll.
In the other Senate contest, incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler leads with 26% of the vote, compared to 20% for U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville. Among Democrats, attorney Matt Lieberman – the son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut – had 14% of the vote, with the Rev. Raphael Warnock polling 9%.
Loeffler, appointed by Kemp last December to succeed retired Sen. Johnny Isakson on an interim basis, was trailing in earlier polls. However, the Atlanta businesswoman has hit the airwaves in recent weeks with a flurry of ads, both praising her accomplishments since taking office in January and attacking Collins.
If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote in November, the top two vote-getters would move on to a runoff in January.
On another issue, 63% of respondents to the Monmouth poll said cities should be able to establish their own rules for wearing masks that are stricter than statewide regulations. Kemp is suing Atlanta officials for imposing a mask-wearing requirement inside the city.
More than 3 in 4 voters (79%) supported requiring people to wear masks indoors in public places when they come within six feet of other people.
The poll’s margin of error was plus-or-minus 4.9%.