Raphael Warnock has slight edge over Herschel Walker in AARP runoff poll

But both candidates are within the poll’s margin of error
From left: Raphael Warnock, Herschel Walker
From left: Raphael Warnock, Herschel Walker(Contributed)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:00 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:06 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - One of the first major public opinion polls in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff has been released, with Raphael Warnock opening up a narrow lead over Republican Herschel Walker.

The Nov. 11-17 poll, commissioned by the AARP and conducted by Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research, interviewed 1,183 likely Georgia voters, including a statewide representative sample of 500 likely voters, with an oversample of 550 likely voters age 50 and older and an additional oversample of 133 Black likely voters age 50 and older.

Warnock leads voters 18-49 by a 24-point margin, while Walker keeps it close due to his nine-point lead with voters 50+, who make up 62% of likely runoff voters.

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Both candidates are winning their own party’s voters by huge margins, with Warnock up 15 points with Independents.

There is a gender gap, with Warnock leading by 11 points among women voters and Walker up five points with men. Within the 50+ electorate, voters 65+ are backing Walker by 13 points, with the race closer among those 50-64.

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Walker leads narrowly among voters without college degrees, with Warnock up 12% among those with four-year degrees or more. Warnock leads among Black voters by 81 points and Black voters 50+ by 83%, while Walker’s edge with white voters is 36% and white voters 50+ is 56%.

Ninety-six percent of likely voters say they voted in the general election, and their recalled vote is extremely similar to their planned vote in the runoff across all demographics. Warnock’s image is in positive territory at 51% favorable – 45% unfavorable. Walker’s image is slightly underwater at 45/49.

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This is the second consecutive Senate race that has gone into a runoff in Georgia. In 2020, both Warnock and Jon Ossoff narrowly defeated their GOP incumbent rivals - Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively - thus sending two Democrats to Georgia’s Senate delegation for the first time in decades.