Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) has regained a narrow lead over his Republican opponent Herschel Walker in the Senate race in Georgia, according to a new poll that followed a news report alleging Walker paid for his now-ex-girlfriend to have an abortion years ago.
The poll from InsiderAdvantage and Fox 5 in Atlanta shows Warnock leading Walker 47 percent to 44 percent. A third candidate, Libertarian Chase Oliver, is garnering 3 percent support.
Warnock’s 3-point lead is still well within the poll’s 4.2 percentage point margin of error. Still, it suggests that the new allegations against Walker could have the potential to damage his standing at a critical point in the Senate race.
An earlier InsiderAdvantage-Fox 5 poll conducted in early September showed Walker leading Warnock by a 3-point margin.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Walker paid for his then-girlfriend to have an abortion in 2009 after she became pregnant. Walker, a former NFL star, has denied the allegation and has threatened to sue the news outlet for defamation. The Hill has not independently verified the allegation.
The latest InsiderAdvantage-Fox 5 poll was conducted on Tuesday, just a day after The Daily Beast published its story on Walker.
While the latest poll shows some improvement for Warnock, the race is far from a foregone conclusion. Matt Towery, the founder of InsiderAdvantage, told Fox 5 that the Georgia Senate contest may be heading for a Dec. 6 runoff election.
Under Georgia’s election rules, a candidate must win more than 50 percent of the vote to clinch a victory. For now, at least, neither Warnock or Walker are hitting that mark.
“Warnock was at 47% in our September survey of this contest and despite the latest controversy around Walker, remains at the same percentage. Walker has dropped since our September survey, which is not surprising,” Towery told Fox 5. “However, the votes shift around but do not seem to push the incumbent near the fifty percent plus one vote number needed to win.”
In Georgia’s other marquee statewide matchup — the race for governor — Gov. Brian Kemp (R) holds a 5-point lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams, who came within 55,000 votes of beating Kemp in 2018 during his first bid for the governor’s mansion.
The InsiderAdvantage-Fox 5 poll is based on responses from 550 likely voters in Georgia. It was conducted on Tuesday night.