Is it time for Republicans to freak out about Trump losing Georgia in 2020?
This morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution unveiled a new survey that showed Trump losing Georgia against all the Democratic candidates polled, trailing Joe Biden by eight percentage points, Bernie Sanders by four points, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg by three points, and Kamala Harris by one point. This appears to be the first survey in the state to ask voters about a head-to-head matchup.
You can throw out all the usual caveats — it’s only one poll, it is of registered voters and not likely voters, we’re a year away from Election Day, in the sample 43.3 percent said they voted for Clinton in 2016 and only 41.7 percent said they voted for Trump, and so on.
But there are reasons to think that Georgia may be uncomfortably close for Trump in 2020. Recall that Trump won Georgia by just five percentage points in 2016, which is a smaller margin of victory than Ohio (eight percentage points) and Iowa (9.4 points).
There are other signs Georgia may not be as reliably red as it once was. As much as Republicans enjoy mocking Stacey Abrams’ refusal to concede and Democrats’ insistence that she was somehow robbed of 50,000 votes in 2018, Abrams still won 48.8 percent, nothing to sneeze at considering how Democrats struggled in statewide races in the Peach State for many years. Also last year, Republicans lost the House seat in the eighth district, in the Atlanta suburbs. In the seventh district, GOP representative Rob Woodall hung on by the skin of his teeth. And as the Virginia elections of this month demonstrated, Trump is still toxic in the suburbs — and Georgia’s got a lot of voters in the Atlanta suburbs. The Democratic nominee will be the underdog in Georgia in 2020 . . . but not a giant underdog.
Separately, note 54 percent of registered voters have a favorable impression of Brian Kemp, and 52.5 percent of women in Georgia; just 36.5 percent of women in Georgia disapprove. Among African-American respondents, 33.5 percent approve, 54.5 percent disapprove. Even 24.2 percent of self-identified Democrats approve of Kemp. Pretty good numbers for a guy who supposedly stole an election.