The outside world may be looking at Georgia’s upcoming special election as a referendum on President Donald Trump’s tenure, but a plurality of 6th District voters swear that isn’t the case for them.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released Friday found that the commander-in-chief has not been a factor for 45 percent of likely voters as they’ve decided between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel for the state’s open congressional seat.
Among the respondents who did say they made their selection based on Trump, 39 percent said they were aiming to express their opposition to the president, while 14 percent said they wanted to register support. More than three-quarters of Democrats, 37 percent of independents and 43 percent of voters under 40 said they fell into the former category.
The majority of Republicans surveyed, about 55 percent, said expressing their opinion on Trump wasn’t a factor in their decision-making.
“Unfortunately, the Democrats are trying to make it a mandate on Trump and his policies. But I think for a lot of people locally it’s not that way,” said Patti Kastens, a Handel supporter from north Fulton County.
Meanwhile, slightly more than one in three Republicans said their decision was made in part to register support for the president.
Trump carried the typically ruby red 6th District by less than 2 percentage points back in November, which is one of the reasons why the Handel-Ossoff contest has received so much national attention.
The AJC poll shows that nearly five months into Trump’s presidency, the Republican is still far from popular in the north Atlanta suburbs.
Only 35 percent of likely voters viewed him favorably when surveyed last week. That’s only slightly better than how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi polled but significantly worse than Trump himself did statewide back in January before he was sworn into office.
The AJC poll was conducted June 5-8 by ABT Associates and involved 745 likely voters. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points. Peruse the crosstabs here, and check out the MyAJC politics site for more coverage.