A new survey of Georgia voters puts Gov. Brian Kemp ahead of Democrat Stacey Abrams, with a key demographic in North Georgia.
The poll conducted by SurveyUSA for 11Alive finds Kemp leading Abrams 49% to 45% among Hispanic voters.
"It's not surprising, and we're going to see that in the long run, not just in these elections," said Art Gallegos Jr., President of the Latinos Conservative Organization. "The other side has not done what they said they were going to do...I think people are tired."
Gallegos believes Kemp has a positive record to run on, which will resonate with all voters, including Latinos.
"People have seen that Governor Kemp stuck with what he said he was going to do not just on education but also the economy," he explained.
Respondents favored Kemp 50% to 45% overall in a hypothetical matchup with Stacey Abrams. The poll represents the opinions of 1,278 likely general election voters and has a margin of error of 3.4%.
Other recent polls suggest that a Kemp-Abrams rematch in the fall could be close. Notably, since the famously close 2018 governor's race, the state went for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1992.
Georgia Democrats are hoping that President Biden's narrow victory will translate to an overall shift in state politics rather than a one-off.
Before Kemp, who is already posturing for the general election, can look to November, he must secure the GOP nomination. This and other recent polls have shown him having a substantial lead over his most serious Republican challenger, former U.S. Sen. David Perdue. The 11Alive/SurveyUSA poll put him 25 points ahead of Perdue (56% to 31%).
Perdue has built his campaign on the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and unproven claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Despite two bitter debates over the past week, the needle has not moved in the race. Notably, this poll found that 57% of the "likely primary voters" surveyed who voted for Trump in 2020 plan to support Kemp.
Sensing that the race may not go Perdue's way, Trump announced that he would hold a "tele-rally" for Perdue this Monday, which is the first day of early voting in Georgia.
Gallegos believes the GOP aligns with the values of many in the Latino community, and they should emphasize that while campaigning. He's adamant that doing that will help Kemp build on and grow his support within the Hispanic population.
"They need to put boots on the ground, and he needs to engage more with community leaders," he said. "I've always said, 'everybody can communicate, but not everybody can connect,' and right now is the time where he needs to step out and keep connecting to this community."