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Georgia Gov’s Race: Kemp vs Abrams 2, rematch facts & stats

By Leroy Cleveland - April 30, 2022

With Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, 58, comfortably ahead in his primary, we’ll likely see him face Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, 48, in the general election.

Kemp vs Abrams Rematch
Kemp and Abrams also went head-to-head in 2018. The former prevailed by 54,723 votes, defeating Abrams 50.2% to 48.8% in the closest Georgia governor’s race since 1966.

“I did win my election, I just didn’t get to have my job,” Abrams said afterward, accusing Kemp, then Georgia’s Secretary of State, of using his influence to suppress votes.

Who has the upper hand in 2022?
Four polls, all in 2022, have Kemp ahead from 2 to 7 points. And given President Biden’s low approval ratings and the anti-Democrat public sentiment, there’s no reason to question Kemp’s strong likelihood of winning if the election were held today (April 30).

Moreover, Kemp, as an incumbent governor, can better control the political narrative and is more familiar to Georgians than was the case four years ago.

2022 Georgia Governor’s Race Polls – Kemp vs Abrams

PollDateKemp (R)Abrams (D)Spread
RCP Average1/13 – 4/2749.544.3Kemp +5.2
WXIA-TV/SurveyUSA4/22 – 4/275045Kemp +5
The Hill/Emerson4/1 – 4/35144Kemp +7
Quinnipiac1/19 – 1/244947Kemp +2
Atlanta Journal-Constitution1/13 – 1/244841Kemp +7

So how large would Kemp’s win be today and can Abrams turn things around by the general election on November 8?

Margins and Projections
Four years ago, Abrams had a better start, winning the first 2 of 3 polls. But Kemp would go 6-2-1 in the next 9 surveys en route to victory.

In the 2018 Georgia Governor’s Race, most of the pollsters were relatively accurate.

Kemp narrowly won by 1.4% as four pollsters, NBC News/Marist, WXIA-TV/SurveyUSA, Landmark Communications, and FOX 5 Atlanta/Opinion Savvy, had the Republican candidate ahead by only 2% in each of their final surveys prior to the election.

And the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, perhaps the most accurate pollster in the 2018 Governor’s Race, had Kemp ahead by 2 in its penultimate survey and a tie in its final poll heading into the general election.

2018 Georgia Governor’s Race Polls – Kemp vs Abrams

PollDateKemp (R)Abrams (D)Spread
Final Results50.248.8Kemp +1.4
RCP Average10/14 – 11/348.845.8Kemp +3.0
Trafalgar Group (R)10/30 – 11/35240Kemp +12
Emerson10/29 – 10/314947Kemp +2
FOX 5 Atlanta/Opinion Savvy*10/28 – 10/294748Abrams +1
Atlanta Journal-Constitution10/21 – 10/304747Tie
FOX 5 Atlanta/Opinion Savvy*10/21 – 10/224848Tie
NBC News/Marist10/14 – 10/184947Kemp +2
WXIA-TV/SurveyUSA10/3 – 10/84745Kemp +2
Atlanta Journal-Constitution*9/30 – 10/94846Kemp +2
Landmark Communications*10/1 – 10/14846Kemp +2
Atlanta Journal-Constitution*8/26 – 9/44545Tie
Gravis7/27 – 7/294446Abrams +2
WXIA-TV/SurveyUSA7/15 – 7/194644Kemp +2
Mason-Dixon2/20 – 2/233740Abrams +3

In its most recent 2022 poll, that same pollster, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, had Kemp by 7.

Not good news for Abrams.

Georgia Senate Bill 67
Following the 2020 Presidential Election and all of the bogus accusations of fraud, the Georgia State Legislature tweaked its election laws by passing a bill requiring a state ID (a driver’s license number, state ID number, or a copy of photo ID) for absentee voting.

Some experts believe the law is intended to create voting obstacles for poor Blacks, a demographic that overwhelmingly supports Democrats. Thus far its impact remains to be seen but, for now, it’s seemingly another advantage for Kemp.

Abrams can still win
Stacey Abrams is likely behind today but an uptick in Biden’s favorability and the Democratic Party’s standings by November could pay big dividends for her.

Georgia, of course, was the most significant state in the 2020 races. Not only did then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden score an upset there that served as the proverbial nail in the coffin for former President Donald Trump’s defeat, but Democrats also flipped both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats in runoff races, gaining control of the chamber in the process.

Given that a Democrat won all three of Georgia’s high-profile statewide election 2020/21 races, the outspoken Abrams can’t be counted out – Even if the Democrats are still behind the proverbial 8-ball come November. Let’s not forget, she’s now a mainstream figure in U.S. politics so her supporters will turn out in higher-than-usual numbers than the typical American voter in a midterm race.

Also, let’s keep in mind that some Republicans in Georgia still erroneously accuse Governor Kemp of succumbing to election fraud because he didn’t use his executive influence to stand in the way of the state being certified for Biden in 2020.

If those folks, hardcore Trumpers, choose to disenfranchise themselves things could get really interesting if Abrams successfully mobilizes her base and energizes supporters.

Kemp vs Abrams odds
As of April 19 and per Bookies.com, Kemp is the -120 favorite while Abrams is the underdog at +175. Hence, a successful $100 wager on the Republican governor would payout $83.33 while the same winning wager on the Democratic challenger would net $175.

Who do you like in Kemp vs Abrams 2?


Tags: 2022 Midterm Elections, georgia governors race