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An InsiderAdvantage/FOX 5 Atlanta poll conducted the evening of December 6th shows the impact of a Donald Trump endorsement in the race for governor in Georgia. The survey of 500 registered likely Republican primary voters asked the ballot question and then asked what impact a Trump endorsement would have on the respondents’ vote:

Q.1 If the Republican Primary for Governor of Georgia were held today for whom would you vote?

Brian Kemp (Incumbent): 41%

David Perdue: 22%

Vernon Jones: 11%

Kandiss Taylor: 4%

Undecided: 22%

Q.2 As you may have heard, President Trump is planning to endorse David Perdue in the Republican Primary for Governor. Knowing this information how would you vote?

Brian Kemp (Incumbent): 34%

David Perdue: 34%

Vernon Jones: 10%

Kandiss Taylor: 4%

Undecided: 18%

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5%.

Crosstabs can be found HERE

InsiderAdvantage Chairman Matt Towery provided analysis of the results:

“This shows the amazing impact that a Trump endorsement can have on a Republican primary and certainly in Georgia. In my many years of polling I have never seen any other individual endorsement move as many points in a single survey.” Towery notes “there have been some instances where I encountered substantial movement based on an endorsement in a Democratic primary by former President Obama, but never to this extent. This should be a huge additional wakeup call to national GOP leaders and candidates as to the political might of Trump.

Former Reagan pollster Craig Keshishian who serves as a Senior Pollster with InsiderAdvantage adds “When President Trump lends an endorsement it upends the political landscape in which he engages.”

As for what the poll portends for the race, Mr. Towery states:

“Based on all of the polling I’ve seen, Governor Kemp’s base support level is likely below 45% regardless of the Trump endorsement. That is certainly not fatal, but it presents a unique challenge for an incumbent Georgia governor.”

Towery continues “This race will be what I often refer to as a ‘Town versus Gown’ contest. While the more suburban and politically connected “Gown” Republicans will favor Kemp, the working class and more exurban and rural GOP voters will be more likely to support Perdue, Jones or another candidate.”  He continues “In the second ballot question (with the Trump endorsement included) both Vernon Jones and Kandiss Taylor’s percentages stay about the same. Both candidates are considered strong supporters of Donald Trump. This could make Jones and Taylor major players in any runoff contest between Kemp and Perdue.”

Towery adds “We included a question about a candidate’s support for the proposed City of Buckhead which has gained national attention, particularly among conservatives. The issue is viewed as a ‘hot button’ one by likely Republican voters, serving as a proxy on the issue of rising crime both in Georgia and nationally. Fifty percent of the respondents said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supports Buckhead becoming its own city. Only ten percent said they would be less likely to support an advocate for the effort. As we head into the upcoming legislative session, where these candidates come down on major issues such as this one, may well decide their political fate in the primary or a runoff” Towery notes.

And as for the chances of Stacey Abrams defeating a Republican nominee next November, Towery states “I believe many Georgia Republicans are fooling themselves by thinking the race should be theirs to lose. Abrams is an internationally known, incredibly well-funded Democrat in a state where demographics are swiftly shifting against statewide Republican candidates. It will be a major challenge for the Republican nominee to survive against her, even in what we believe will be a big year for the GOP nationally” Towery concludes.

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