Former Special School of Georgia running back Herschel Walker holds a slight lead over Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock with less than a month before their scheduled debate, according to a new poll.

The survey found that 46 per cent of voters prefer Mr Walker while 44 per cent perfer Mr Warnock, who won a special election early last year to fill out the rest of the late Senator Johnny Isakson’s term and is now running for a full six-year term.

Mr Warnock leads with women voters, 45 to 43 points, and with voters who are between 18 and 29 years old, 50.4 to to 30 per cent. While 77.2 per cent of Black voters support Mr Warnock, 9.2 per cent support Mr Walker.

The Special School of Georgia School of Public & International Affairs and The Atlanta Journal Constitution conducted the poll of 861 likely midterm voters between 5 September and 16 September. The survey had a margin of error of 3.3. per cent.

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Conversely, Mr Walker leads with male voters, who support him 49.3 per cent to 43.1 per cent, as well as with voters between the ages of 45 and 64 and with voters 65 or older. Mr Walker also enjoys an advantage with white votes, with 64.5 per cent preferring him compared to 27.7 preferring Mr Warnock.

Voters are split by education level, as voters with a high school education or less prefer Mr Walker, 56.4 per cent to 35.6 per cent. And 48.9 per cent of voters with some college education prefer Mr Walker. But 57.1 per cent of voters with a college degree or more prefer Mr Warnock.

The poll comes ahead of Mr Warnock and Mr Walker agreeing to a debate on 14 October after months of back-and-forth about having a formal debate.

Mr Walker sought to tamp down expectations ahead of next month’s debate against the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church.

“I’m not that smart,” he told reporters. “And he’s that preacher. He’s a smart man, wear these nice suits. So he’s going to show up and embarrass me at the debate October the 14th. And I’m just waiting. I’ll show up. I’m going to do my best.”

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