Republican Herschel Walker is leading Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) by two points in the battleground race for U.S. Senate in Georgia, according to a poll released Friday.
The poll, conducted by the left-leaning Data for Progress and published by the Daily Beast, found Walker at 49 percent compared to Warnock’s 47 percent.
The poll had a three percent margin of error, meaning the two candidates are statistically tied despite Walker’s slight edge over Warnock.
Walker, a former University of Georgia football legend and NFL player, breezed past his Republican opponents in his primary in May, signaling the former athlete with small-town roots is well-liked and generates enthusiasm among Republicans in his state.
Amid his challenge to Warnock, however, Walker has come under heightened scrutiny, most notably for the number of children he fathers, his mental health, and domestic disputes dating back to roughly 20 years ago or more.
Walker told the New York Post in a recent statement about his youngest two children — whom the Daily Beast reported on in June as “secret” children — that he has been quiet about them because he “didn’t want them to become political props.”
Additionally, the former athlete has long been forthright about living with a dissociative identity disorder diagnosis, detailing in a 2009 novel its effects on his life and past relationships and his work to overcome the disorder.
Walker, who is endorsed by both former President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in his bid for office, is campaigning on messages of unity and addressing inflation, a top priority for average Americans who are strained by increased costs of groceries, gas, housing, and more.
Warnock, a longtime pastor who was elected to the Senate in January 2021, is heavily focusing his campaign on healthcare issues while also promoting his legislative accomplishments.
Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, March 3, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)
As one of the Democrat incumbents most prone to losing their Senate seat in November, Warnock raised more money than any other Senate candidate in the country in the first quarter of the year, reporting a $13.6 million haul and $25.6 million in cash on hand.
While one recent outlier poll showed Warnock ten points ahead of Walker in the race, the Data for Progress poll is consistent with the results of most other polls, which have shown the two candidates in a tight race that is poised to become one of the most costly and competitive of the midterm cycle.
The Data for Progress poll was conducted from July 1 through July 7 among 1,131 likely Georgia voters.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.