Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams is neck-and-neck with Republican rival Brian Kemp in the Georgia governor’s race according to a new poll, but that’s no reason for celebration. Kemp has embraced Donald Trump, which is a big no-no among black, women and Hispanic voters.

A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll finds Abrams and Kemp tied at 45 percent. That’s great news that the race is close, but I would urge some cautious optimism. Former gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter, who is the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, was in the same spot during his run against Nathan Deal. He still lost.

The poll finds that there are eight percent of undecided voters, which Stacey Abrams would need to break to her, plus she needs all her supporters and then some, to turn out in huge numbers on election day.

Looking at the cross-tabs, Stacey Abrams trails Brian Kemp among male voters by 14 points (53.3% to 39%). She leads among women voters by nearly 11 points (49.6% to 38.8%). About 9.4% of the women polled are undecided and there are about 5.5% of undecided men. Libertarian candidate Ted Metz is getting about 2.2%.

stacey abrams brian kemp ga governor's race
Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp Deadlocked in GA Governor’s Race [Photo Credit: Wikipedia]
Let’s drill down a little deeper…..

Brian Kemp leads among voters with a high school diploma or less by a big margin. He also leads among voters with some college by nine points and among voters with technical/vocational school education. He leads slightly among college graduates while Abrams leads among voters with graduate study by 21 points.

Let’s go to income…

Stacey Abrams leads among voters who make under $25,000 by a huge margin. She also leads among voters making up to $74,999 but trails among voters making from $75,000 to over $150,000 but they tie with voters making $100,000 to $149,999.

And now for demographics….

Kemp leads Abrams 65.4% to 26.5% among white voters. She leads 85.6% to 3.8% among black voters and 45% to 33.8% among other (which I assume includes Hispanic and Asian voters). The problem for Abrams is that there are more white voters in Georgia than there are black voters.

And now by age group and party affiliation….

Abrams leads among voters 18-29, 30-44 and trails Kemp among voters 45-64 and 65+. She gets 90% of Democratic vote while Kemp gets 91% of Republican vote. Abrams leads Kemp 45.6% to 30.7% among independent voters.

Why the cautious optimism?

The pool of undecided voters is very small. In that pool are 14 percent of the undecided independent voters. That will be the group Abrams has to target, as well as having the mother of all GOTV campaigns to make sure her base turns out in record numbers. Metro Atlanta alone won’t take her across the finish line.

I am a Democrat who crossed party lines to vote for Nathan Deal when he ran for reelection. I am very happy with what he has done as governor and I would be inclined to support a Republican if I felt he would continue in his footsteps. But I cannot in good conscience cast a ballot for Brian Kemp because he has wrapped himself in all things Donald Trump, who is currently under water in Georgia.  Further, Kemp has a questionable record on voting rights as Secretary of State. He did not recuse himself to-date, so if the election was held today, he would be presiding over the voting process.

I plan on voting for Stacey Abrams, but I’m a lukewarm supporter. I don’t know if I really like what I see in her as a candidate because I don’t know much about her even though she’s been in Georgia state politics for a long time. I also don’t like the issue with the tax liens that have been levied against her. I don’t think she has given a plausible explanation about the situation. This election will come down to the ground game and who will turn out their voters in large numbers.