A new poll conducted since former U.S. Sen. David Perdue entered the 2022 Republican primary race for governor shows him neck and neck with incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp.
Perdue and Kemp each drew support from 34% of 500 likely GOP primary voters when the respondents were informed that former President Donald Trump has endorsed Perdue, according to a survey conducted the evening of Dec. 6 by FOX 5 and InsiderAdvantage.
The poll was conducted on the same day Perdue both formally entered the race and received Trump’s blessing.
When asked to declare their preference before being informed of the Trump endorsement, the respondents supported Kemp 41% to 22%.
“This shows the amazing impact that a Trump endorsement can have on a Republican primary and certainly in Georgia,” InsiderAdvantage Chairman Matt Towery said. “This should be a huge additional wakeup call to national GOP leaders and candidates as to the political might of Trump.”
Trump has been urging Perdue for months to challenge fellow Republican Kemp, who drew Trump’s ire when he refused to back the then-president’s attempts to overturn 2020 presidential election results that saw Democrat Joe Biden carry Georgia by nearly 12,000 votes.
Perdue’s entry into the contest promises a bitter struggle that’s bound to further divide Republicans in Georgia.
“This race will be what I often refer to as a ‘Town versus Gown’ contest,” Towery said. “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.”
On the Democratic side, former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, who lost a close election to Kemp in 2018, appears to enjoy a clear path to her party’s nomination next spring.
The Republican poll found former state Rep. Vernon Jones and Appling County educator Kandiss Taylor far behind Kemp and Perdue. The survey had an error rate of plus-or-minus 4.5%.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.