Georgia Poll Providing Clues

A new Cygnal poll is providing an early glimpse as to where a key state electorate stands in the 2024 presidential race.

Georgia is potentially the “tell state,” in the next election. Republicans need to convert 35 electoral votes to win the Presidency, and there is virtually no path to a GOP victory unless Georgia’s 16 electoral votes return to the Republican column, assuming, of course, that the states voting for then-President Donald Trump in 2020 remain in the GOP universe.
The easiest path to a Republican victory, that is with the fewest number of states switching allegiance, is flipping Georgia and Pennsylvania. With all 2020 Trump states remaining true, these two states would give the Republicans exactly the 270 electoral votes they need to win the national election. Without Pennsylvania, the GOP would need some combination of Georgia, aligned with at least two of the following potential swing states: Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, or New Hampshire.

A political action committee associated with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), the Hardworking Americans PAC, just released their Cygnal poll of the Peach State Republican electorate (6/5-7; 600 GA likely general election voters; interactive voice response system & text) and the results find the generic Republican label actually performing much better against President Joe Biden than does former President Trump.

When asked if the respondent would favor President Biden or a Republican candidate, the GOP generic response would lead by double digits, 48-38%. If Mr. Trump were the Republican candidate, the race evolves into a virtual tie, with the former President scoring 42.0% and Mr. Biden attracting 41.4% support.

Overall, the Georgia electorate is not happy with the country’s state of affairs. Two-thirds of the sample, 67.5%, believe America is on the wrong track as compared to only 22.5% that says the country is headed in the right direction. When asked how they see the state of Georgia, the division is almost even. A total of 43.0% say Georgia is headed in the right direction, while 44.9% perceive that the state has veered off on the wrong track.

Testing various political figures, President Biden’s personal approval numbers are seriously upside down, with only 39.5% saying they have a positive opinion of him, while 55.7% perceive him negatively. Former President Trump has a similar favorability index, 41.7 to 54.3% positive to negative.
The pollsters also tested Gov. Kemp and US Sen. Jon Ossoff (D). Georgia political speculation suggests that Gov. Kemp, whose second and final term as Governor will end when Sen. Ossoff next comes in-cycle (2026), will face off in the Senate race. The Cygnal favorability index for Gov. Kemp and Sen. Ossoff tip in the former’s favor, 52.8 to 38.8% favorable to unfavorable as compared with 43.8 to 36.6%, meaning both men lie in the positive realm.

The key point revealed in this poll suggests that Republicans have a good chance to win back Georgia so long as they nominate someone other than former President Trump. Though no other presidential candidate was tested against President Biden, the fact that the generic Republican numbers do so well against him, points to clear weakness for the incumbent’s general election prospects. Seeing the Trump-Biden pairing in a virtual dead heat tells us that the GOP will have trouble here if they again nominate Mr. Trump; and, if they fail in Georgia, the party will not likely win the Presidency in 2024.

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