Georgia Secretary of State Bradford J. Raffensperger and his main challenger Rep. Jody B. Hice, who is endorsed by President Donald J. Trump, are locked into a statistical tie at 26 percent going into the May 24 primary, according to The Star News Network-Kaplan Strategies poll executed May 7 through May 13 of 431 likely Georgia Republican voters.
“It is significant that Raffensperger is far from the 50 percent bar, and he has not been able to shake off Hice’s insurgent campaign,” said Doug Kaplan, the founder and president of Kaplan Strategies, the Florida-based firm that conducted the poll. The poll carries a margin of error is 4.7 percent.
In Georgia, if no candidate exceeds 50 percent of the vote, there is a runoff held between the top two contenders.
Among men, Raffensperger was the choice of 32 percent, and he was the choice of 20 percent of women, while Hice had the support of 29 percent of men and 23 percent of women, he said.
The pollster said that both Raffensperger and Hice were the choice of 27 percent of respondents who have a firearm in their household.
Raffensperger was the choice of 22 percent of respondents who want to restrict abortion rights, with 31 percent of those choosing Hice, he said.
“Hice has an edge with voters looking to restrict abortion rights, and that could be his edge when the votes are counted,” Kaplan said.
He said the other candidates in the poll were David Belle Isle at 2 percent and T.J. Hudson at 3 percent.
“Even scarier for Raffensperger is the 43 percent of GOP voters who are uncertain,” Kaplan said.
“It is generally assumed that undecided voters break for the challenger. However, it is hard to argue that people have not heard of Raffensperger since he is the most famous or infamous secretary of state in the country right now,” he said.
“With this many undecideds, so close to the primary, you have to look at other questions to discern the mood of the voters,” he said. “In another question, we asked how favorably they rated the secretary of state.”
Fourteen percent of respondents had a very favorable view of Raffensperger, and 18 percent had a somewhat favorable view, he said.
“In that case, Raffensperger is at 22 percent with a combined favorable view, while 42 percent have a combined unfavorable and 25 percent were uncertain,” he said. “In this question, we can see that in the straight voter preference, there could be a reluctance with voters to say they oppose Raffensperger.”
Kaplan said that Hice has a combined favorable of 30 percent, compared with a combined unfavorable of 16 percent with 43 percent uncertain.
“It is hard to separate Raffensperger from his handling of the 2020 election,” he said. “Sixty-three percent of respondents told us the 2020 election was stolen through voter fraud in the swing states—and only 16 percent said it was an honest and fair election.”
Twenty-one percent said they were uncertain about whether the 2020 election was stolen, he said.
“In the case of Hice, his favorable rating is 2-to-1 for him, the opposite ratio of Raffensperger’s rating, but with 43 percent of people saying they were uncertain about him, it really says that he still has a name recognition problem,” he said.
“Trump’s endorsement of Hice is helping him,” he said. “While 30 percent of Hice voters are much more likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by Trump, 59 percent of Raffensperger’s voters say they are much less likely to vote for a candidate Trump endorsed.”
He said that only 15 percent of Raffensperger voters have a very favorable view of the former president.
Review the poll’s finding here:
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Neil W. McCabe is the national political editor of The Star News Network based in Washington. He is an Army Reserve public affairs NCO and an Iraq War veteran. Send him news tips: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter, TruthSocial & GETTR: @ReporterMcCabe.