ATLANTA – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has opened up a 7-point lead over President Donald Trump in Georgia, according to a poll released Wednesday, fewer than three weeks before the Nov. 3 election.
Biden is leading the incumbent Republican president 51% to 44%, according to a telephone survey of 1,040 likely Georgia voters conducted Oct. 8-12 by Quinnipiac University. That’s well outside the poll’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 3%.
The same poll gave Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff a 6-point lead over Republican Sen. David Perdue.
In Georgia’s other Senate contest, a special election with a huge field of 21 candidates, the Quinnipiac poll showed Democrat Raphael Warnock in first place with 41% of the vote.
The two leading Republican candidates, interim Sen. Kelly Loeffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, appeared to be battling for second place and a spot in a likely runoff. Collins was in second place with 22% of the vote, with Loeffler running third at 20%.
The last Quinnipiac Georgia poll, released Sept. 29, found the presidential race too close to call, with Biden holding a narrow 3-point lead, within the poll’s margin of error.
That poll was taken before the first presidential debate and before Trump was diagnosed with coronavirus.
“For Trump, 2016 is a distant memory, defeating Hillary Clinton by 5 points when the polls closed then, and now down seven to Biden with three weeks to go,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said. “Warning lights are blinking red and alarms are going off in the Peach State.”
Georgia has been a dependably Republican state in presidential elections since before the turn of the century. The last Democrat to carry the Peach State was Bill Clinton in 1992.
The last Georgia Democrat elected to the Senate was Max Cleland in 1996.
Then-Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes appointed a former governor, Zell Miller, in 2000 to complete the unexpired term of the late Sen. Paul Coverdell. However, Miller did not run for a full term in 2004.
Notably, Democrats have posted the strongest numbers in the two Quinnipiac Georgia polls. Other polls released in recent weeks have shown both the presidential contest and the Perdue-Ossoff race essentially tied, within those polls’ margins of error.
Other recent polls have shown Warnock taking a solid lead over Collins and Loeffler, although well short of the 50%-plus-1 vote margin he would need to avoid a runoff in early January.