- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 17, 2022

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has a 9-point lead over former Sen. David Perdue in a gubernatorial race that is serving as a barometer for the power of former President Donald Trump’s endorsements, according to a new poll.

The Trafalgar Group said Wednesday that Mr. Kemp received the support of 49% of likely Republican voters compared to 40% for Mr. Perdue, who was endorsed by Mr. Trump after Mr. Kemp declined to buy into the ex-president’s unproven claims the 2020 contest was stolen from him.

Despite trailing, Mr. Perdue could take solace in the large share of Georgia Republicans who don’t know about Mr. Trump’s endorsement and might be persuaded to back the ex-senator in the May primary once they find out about it.

Roughly 40% of voters either did not know if Mr. Trump made a pick or believed he had not, while about 58% knew he chose Mr. Perdue.

“We find among people who do know Trump made an endorsement that Perdue had a lead,” Trafalgar pollster Robert Cahaly told Fox 5 in Atlanta. “But on the whole, Kemp still has about a 10-point lead.”

Among other contenders, Kandiss Taylor received 3% and Jonathan Garcia registered less than 1%.

The GOP nominee is slated to face Stacey Abrams, the high-profile Democrat who lost to Mr. Kemp in 2018 and was buffeted with criticism over her recent maskless photo with masked school children.

In Georgia’s race for U.S. Senate, the poll said ex-NFL star Herschel Walker leading the GOP field by a substantial margin. Mr. Walker received support from 70% compared to 6% for state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, his nearest challenger.

The winner is expected to square off against Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat who won a special election runoff in January 2021.

The poll was conducted among 1,072 likely GOP voters in Georgia from Feb. 11 to Feb. 13. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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