How opinions of Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker changed leading up to the Georgia election

Linley SandersData Journalist
December 09, 2022, 4:16 PM GMT+0

On Tuesday, incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock narrowly defeated Republican candidate Herschel Walker in the Georgia runoff election for U.S. Senate. After Warnock has been on the ballot four times in high-profile Georgia elections in the last two years — including twice in the last month — the share of Americans with any opinion of him in the Economist/YouGov poll has risen.

Americans were split in their opinion of Warnock in the days leading up to the Georgia runoff election, with 34% viewing him very or somewhat favorably and 30% very or somewhat unfavorably. About one-third of Americans in this week's poll had no opinion of Warnock (37%), down from 54% in June 2022, when the Economist/YouGov Poll first asked about him. At that point, people with an opinion of Warnock were also split between having a favorable (25% of Americans) or unfavorable (21%) view.

Walker’s favorability fell in the months leading up to the election. In an Economist/YouGov Poll conducted in mid-May, more Americans viewed Walker favorably (34%) than unfavorably (23%). While the share of people who view Walker favorably has remained fairly steady since then, more Americans with an opinion of Walker held a negative one. Now, more Americans have a negative opinion of Walker than have a positive one (33% favorable, 42% unfavorable).

— Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article

Related: What Americans thought of campaign ads in the Georgia Senate runoff

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on December 3 - 6, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to June 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (34% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty Images (Win McNamee)