AJC poll: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked in Georgia

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shake hands after the first presidential debate. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shake hands after the first presidential debate. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked in Georgia with less than three weeks until Election Day, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll.

The poll released Friday shows Trump leading Clinton 44-42 among likely Georgia voters, which is within the poll’s margin of error. Libertarian Gary Johnson is at 9 percent in the poll, and another 4 percent had not yet made up their minds.

It is the latest in a string of recent polls that show a tightening race in Georgia, which has voted for the GOP presidential nominee since 1996. An AJC poll released in August showed Clinton had a 4-point lead over Trump in Georgia.

Both candidates remain deeply unpopular in Georgia. About six in 10 voters had negative views of both Trump and Clinton. And a significant portion of voters – a third of Clinton’s supporters and almost half of Trump’s backers – said they see their pick for president more as a vote against their opponent.

Nearly 60 percent of voters view the Republican’s treatment of women as a legitimate issue in the presidential race after Trump’s incendiary remarks in the “Access Hollywood” videotape. By contrast, less than a third of voters see Bill Clinton’s treatment of women as a legitimate factor in the contest.poll-oct

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The New York businessman’s claims of a “rigged” election have not gained much traction in Georgia. Nearly 80 percent of voters say they are confident their vote for president will be accurately counted. And only 10 percent of Georgians say they will not accept the outcome of the election if the candidate they support loses.

Among the other key findings from the survey released Friday morning:

  • Circling the wagons. The vast majority of Republicans – 85 percent  – say they will back their party’s nominee. But only 4 in 10 independents, a traditionally conservative voting bloc in Georgia, say they are behind Trump.
  • A stark gender gap. Trump has built a solid lead among men, with a 50-35 margin, while women favor Clinton by a 48-37 vote. Some 64 percent of women have an unfavorable view of Trump, while 66 percent of men have a negative perception of Clinton.
  • A tale of two age groups. Almost one in five voters under 39 are backing Johnson’s third-party candidacy, while a majority of voters older than 65 support Trump. (Green Party candidate Jill Stein is not on Georgia’s ballot.)
  • The GOP’s minority struggles. Only 3 percent of black voters are backing Trump. Nearly 90 percent are behind Clinton’s campaign.
  • An Obama split. Fifty percent of Georgia voters give President Barack Obama a favorable approval rating in his final days in office. House Speaker Paul Ryan has more mixed returns: About one-third of voters give him positive reviews, and another 41 percent give him an unfavorable rating.
  • Clinton’s honesty problems. A majority of Georgia voters – 56 percent – believe Clinton is qualified to serve as president. But almost two-thirds of voters don’t see her as “honest and trustworthy” – including nearly all Republicans and one-quarter of Democrats.
  • Trump’s testy temperament. More than half of Georgia voters say Trump is not qualified to lead the country, and 62 percent told pollsters he doesn’t have the temperament or personality to serve effectively in the White House.
  • A pessimistic outlook. Two-thirds of Georgia’s voters say the country is on the wrong track, including 90 percent of Republicans.

Trump trails Clinton in both national polls and must-win battleground states, and Clinton has looked to broaden her electoral map by stepping up its efforts in reliably conservative states like Arizona. That red-state strategy has largely bypassed Georgia and its 16 electoral votes, though a pro-Clinton super PAC poured at least $1 million in an ad blitz this week in Georgia and local Democrats hold out hope she could make a late push in the state.

PDF: View complete Georgia poll and crosstabs

This exclusive Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll of 1003 registered voters statewide was conducted by Abt SRBI of New York between Oct. 17-20. The poll included 839 likely voters. The margin of error for the registered voter sample is 3.9 percentage points. For the likely voter sample it is 4.26 percentage points.

The survey used both traditional land-line and cell phones. The data are weighted based on mode (cell only, land-line only and mixed), region (metro vs. non-metro), gender, age, race, education and ethnicity (Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic). Some totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding.

More results from our most recent poll: 

AJC poll: Isakson has big lead in Ga. Senate race, but runoff possible

AJC poll shows significant opposition to Opportunity School District


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