While Georgia Governor Brian Kemp looks to use the state’s economic metrics as a campaign advantage, poll numbers for Trump-endorsed former Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Stacey Abrams just trail the incumbent.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday indicated Kemp held a single-digit lead over his main challenger in the Republican primaries and predicted the general election votes between Kemp and Abrams to be "almost evenly split."
"The fact that Georgia has a really strong economy, that it has a budget surplus, one would expect that Gov. Kemp could sail towards renomination without a challenge," Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie told FOX Business’ Connell McShane.
"I wouldn't expect high-quality challengers like David Perdue to enter a race against an incumbent," Gillespie continued.
In addition to strong real estate, consumer and business spending data in Georgia, Kemp promised to use the state’s budget surplus to pay teachers more and give taxpayers a refund in a legislative preview earlier this month.
"Kemp has done an exceptional job in leading our state," Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., told Stuart Varney on Thursday. "I mean, every economic factor is high."
Agreeing with the recent polling data, Loudermilk believes Gov. Kemp has the slight edge over both Perdue and Abrams.
"I had endorsed Brian Kemp as the incumbent governor many, many months ago, and he hasn't given me a reason to pull that endorsement," Loudermilk said.
Four years ago, with the support of Trump, Kemp narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams to win the governorship. But Kemp earned Trump’s ire starting in late 2020, after he certified now President Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia in the presidential election, following two recounts of the vote. Trump, who had unsuccessfully urged Kemp and other top Republican officials in the state to overturn the results, has repeatedly vowed to return to Georgia to campaign against Kemp. Trump for months urged Perdue to primary challenge the governor, and he endorsed Perdue a day after the former senator launched his bid.
Abrams, a former Democratic leader in the state legislature and a voting rights champion who’s become a rising star in the Democratic Party, faces nominal primary opposition as she runs a second straight time for governor.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.