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11Alive poll: Georgia voters split on governor's race, approve of legal pot, arming teachers

Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp has a nominal 2-point advantage but African-American turnout could easily propel Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams to the Statehouse, according to the poll.

With 4 weeks until the midterm elections in Georgia, a new 11Alive poll shows Georgia's gubernatorial race could go either way and every vote is critical.

Republican nominee Brian Kemp has a nominal 2-point advantage over Democrat Stacey Abrams, but African-American turnout could easily propel her into the Statehouse.

The poll, released Tuesday, shows 47 percent of those surveyed support Kemp and 45 percent support Abrams, well within error parameters of the survey commissioned by 11Alive. The contest is best characterized as a "jump ball."

SurveyUSA interviewed 1,250 adults from the state of Georgia Oct. 3 through Oct. 8. Of the adults, 1,027 were registered to vote. Of the registered voters, 655 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the Nov. 6 general election. This research was conducted online.

Abrams, who is African-American, leads 17:1 among black voters, who represent 30 percent of the likely electorate, according to SurveyUSA's modeling. White voters, who make up 64 percent of SurveyUSA's electorate, back Kemp nearly 3:1.

Kemp holds 94 percent of the Republican base (just 5 percent cross-over and vote Democratic). Abrams holds 97 percent of the Democratic base (just 1 percent cross-over and vote Republican).

A concern of Abrams -- something that works well for Kemp -- is independent voting. According to the poll, they break 46 percent to 29 percent for the Republicans. Conservatives break 7:1 for Kemp; liberals break 18:1 for Abrams and the all-important moderates break 5:3 for Abrams, possibly offsetting some of the votes Abrams loses among independents.

If the election for Georgia governor were today and you were filling out your ballot right now, who would you vote for?

  • Brian Kemp (R) -- 47%
  • Stacey Abrams (D) -- 45%
  • Another candidate -- 2%
  • Undecided -- 6%

Kemp leads among those who do not have a 4-year college degree; Abrams leads by 12 points among the college-educated. Rural voters back Kemp by 40 points. Urban voters back Abrams by 38 points. Kemp leads narrowly among suburban men and Abrams leads by 11 points among suburban women.

Younger voters -- often the most reliable -- favor Kemp by 14 points.

When voters statewide are asked whether they will vote for the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives or the Democratic candidate, 46 percent picked Democrat and 44 percent chose Republican.

RELATED | Kemp, Abrams have opposing views on undocumented immigrants, HOPE Scholarship

If the election for the U.S. House of Representatives in your district were today and you were filling out your ballot right now, who would you vote for?

  • Republican Candidate -- 44%
  • Democratic Candidate -- 46%
  • Undecided -- 10%

By 5:1, voters are in favor of medicinal marijuana. Voters say recreational marijuana should be legalized in Georgia 5:3.

RELATED | Underground network brings medical marijuana to Georgia residents, and it's legal

Should Georgia allow state-regulated cultivation of marijuana in order to produce legal cannabis oil?

  • Yes -- 72%
  • No -- 14%
  • Not sure -- 14%

Should the use of marijuana for recreational use by adults in Georgia remain against the law? Or, should it be legalized?

  • Remain against the law -- 33%
  • Legalized -- 55%
  • Not sure -- 12%

Voters are divided on whether or not to arm teachers and other school employees. Forty-six percent are in favor and 41 percent are opposed.

Should local school systems have the option of arming school teachers and other trained school employees?

  • Yes -- 46%
  • No -- 41%
  • Not sure -- 13%

By nearly 2:1, voters said the city of Atlanta should continue to be responsible for the operation of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport -- not the state of Georgia.

RELATED | Major security upgrades underway at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

    Should the state take over operations of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport from the city of Atlanta? Or should the city of Atlanta continue to operate the airport?

    • State should take over -- 26%
    • City should continue operations -- 49%
    • Not sure -- 25%

    When it comes to newly-minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, 40 percent supported his nomination and 40 percent opposed.

    Do you support or oppose Brett Kavanaugh becoming the next Supreme Court Justice?

    • Support -- 40%
    • Oppose -- 40%
    • Not sure -- 20%

    Is your opinion of President Trump favorable, unfavorable or neutral? Or, do you have no opinion of him?

    • Favorable -- 36%
    • Unfavorable -- 45%
    • Neutral -- 14%
    • No Opinion - 4%

    Thinking ahead now to the Presidential election in 2020, are you certain to vote for Donald Trump? Certain to vote for his Democratic opponent? Certain to vote for a third party candidate or certain to not vote at all in this election? Or, do you need to know who the candidates are before you can say?

    • Trump -- 31%
    • Democratic Opponent -- 32%
    • Third Party Candidate -- 3%
    • Certain to NOT vote -- 2%
    • Need to know the candidate -- 27%
    • Not sure -- 5%

    Thinking ahead to the next election for United States Senator from Georgia in 2020, are you certain to vote for David Perdue? Certain to vote for his Democratic opponent? Certain to vote for a third party candidate? Certain to NOT vote in the election? Or, do you need to know who the candidates are before you can say?

    • Perdue -- 31%
    • Democratic opponent -- 31%
    • Third party candidate -- 3%
    • Certain to NOT vote -- 1%
    • Need to know the candidates -- 25%
    • Not sure -- 9%

    Georgia plans to replace its election system by 2020, eliminating the touch-screen computers now in use. Should the state use a paper-only balloting system? Or, one that combines both paper ballots with computer interfaces?

    • Paper-only balloting system -- 20%
    • One that combines paper with computer ballots -- 60%
    • Not sure -- 21%

    Would you support or oppose a "religious freedom" law in Georgia, which backers say would strengthen the ability of people to observe their personal religious beliefs, and critics say would enable discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender persons?

    • Support -- 50%
    • Oppose -- 24%
    • Not sure -- 27%

    Should the state of Georgia expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, in order to provide insurance for lower-income uninsured Georgians?

    • Yes -- 70%
    • No -- 17%
    • Not sure -- 14%

    Do you think the Electoral College should continue to be used in the election of the President? Or, should the Electoral College be eliminated?

    • Continue to be used -- 36%
    • Eliminated -- 44%
    • Not sure -- 20%

    Should Special Counsel Robert Mueller be allowed to complete his investigation? Or, should the investigation be stopped?

    • Allowed to complete investigation -- 57%
    • Investigation should be stopped -- 26%
    • Not sure -- 17%

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