Georgia Gov. Kemp looks as if he's crushing a Trump-backed GOP primary challenge

·2-min read

With just weeks to go until the May 24 primary, a second straight poll in Georgia has found Gov. Brian Kemp crushing former Sen. David Perdue in the Republican contest.

Former President Donald Trump has made it a priority to get rid of Kemp, because the Republican governor refused to go along with his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

But the latest survey, conducted April 10-22 by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs on behalf of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, showed that while Trump remains popular among many likely Republican voters in Georgia, his endorsement of Perdue has not had much impact in the race.

Kemp led Perdue by 26 points, 53% to 27%. If he wins more than 50% of the vote on May 24, he will win the primary outright and avoid a runoff.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp looks pensive.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. (Brynn Anderson/AP Photo)

In a poll conducted in early April by WGCL-TV and Landmark Communications, Kemp led Perdue by a similar margin, 52% to 28%.

Trump appeared with Perdue at a rally on March 26, but his backing of the former senator and businessman — who lost his seat to Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, in 2021 — has done nothing to rescue Perdue’s candidacy so far.

And in the primary contest for the position of Georgia’s secretary of state, the incumbent, Brad Raffensperger, was also narrowly beating a Trump-backed primary challenger. Raffensperger, who came under intense attacks from Trump's demands to throw out legitimate election results, led Rep. Jody Hice 28% to 26%, though about 37% of those polled said they were undecided in that race.

Georgia Republicans in the latest survey were not hostile to Trump: 77% said they have a favorable view of the former president, and 55% said he should run for president again.

Former Sen. David Perdue at the podium in a TV studio.
Former Sen. David Perdue at a Republican gubernatorial debate with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Sunday. (Miguel Martinez/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP photo)

But only 27% said Trump’s endorsement of a candidate made them “much more likely” to support that person, while 36% said it made no difference. Another 18% said a Trump endorsement made them “somewhat” more likely to support a candidate, while 15% said it made them less likely to back someone.

Yet Trump, so far, has shown no signs of backing off his support for Perdue ahead of what may be an embarrassing defeat. On Monday, the former president issued a statement that said Perdue had a “big win” in the first of three debates with Kemp on Sunday night.

Trump urged Republicans to vote for Perdue. “A lot is on the line,” he said.