New poll has Trump, Bi­den tied in Ga.

♦ On another is­sue, 63% said cities should be able to man­date masks.

Rome News-Tribune - - EDITORIALS & OPINION - By Dave Wil­liams Capi­tol Beat News Ser­vice

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Demo­cratic chal­lenger Joe Bi­den are locked in a tight race for Ge­or­gia’s 16 elec­toral votes, ac­cord­ing to a poll re­leased by Mon­mouth Univer­sity Wednesday.

A ran­dom statewide sam­ple of 402 reg­is­tered Ge­or­gia vot­ers taken be­tween July 23 and July 27 found Trump and Bi­den tied with 47% of the vote. Three per­cent said they will vote for Lib­er­tar­ian Jo Jorgensen, and another 3% were un­de­cided.

“There is a lot of par­ity be­tween the two can­di­dates,” said Patrick Mur­ray, di­rec­tor of the in­de­pen­dent Mon­mouth Univer­sity Polling In­sti­tute. “Trump has a lock on his base, but Bi­den is per­form­ing much bet­ter than (2016 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hil­lary) Clin­ton did in key swing ar­eas.”

Trump car­ried Ge­or­gia by 5 points in 2016, con­tin­u­ing a Repub­li­can run of suc­cess in pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in the Peach State that be­gan in 1996.

But Democrats gained ground in 2018, cap­tur­ing a con­gres­sional seat in At­lanta’s north­ern sub­urbs and post­ing vic­to­ries in sev­eral state House dis­tricts in sub­ur­ban ar­eas of metro At­lanta. Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial nom­i­nee Stacey Abrams lost to Repub­li­can Brian Kemp two years ago by a nar­row mar­gin.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mon­mouth poll, Bi­den is show­ing strength in those same ar­eas, hold­ing a 58% to 38% lead in 14 swing coun­ties, in­clud­ing Gwin­nett and Cobb, where the vote mar­gin was clos­est be­tween Trump and Clin­ton in 2016.

AT­LANTA —

Trump is dom­i­nat­ing among white vot­ers, while Bi­den en­joys over­whelm­ing sup­port among Black vot­ers. Bi­den also holds a size­able lead among in­de­pen­dents, 53% to 21%.

Mean­while, Repub­li­cans are lead­ing in both of Ge­or­gia’s U.S. Se­nate races. U.S. Sen. David Per­due, who is seek­ing a sec­ond six-year term, holds a 49% to 43% lead over Demo­cratic chal­lenger Jon Os­soff, ac­cord­ing to the Mon­mouth poll.

In the other Se­nate con­test, in­cum­bent Repub­li­can Kelly Lo­ef­fler leads with 26% of the vote, com­pared to 20% for U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, RGainesvil­le. Among Democrats, at­tor­ney Matt Lieber­man – the son of former Sen. Joe Lieber­man of Con­necti­cut – had 14% of the vote, with the Rev. Raphael Warnock polling 9%.

Lo­ef­fler, ap­pointed by Kemp last De­cem­ber to suc­ceed re­tired Sen. Johnny Isak­son on an in­terim ba­sis, was trail­ing in ear­lier polls. How­ever, the At­lanta busi­ness­woman has hit the air­waves in re­cent weeks with a flurry of ads, both prais­ing her ac­com­plish­ments since tak­ing of­fice in Jan­uary and at­tack­ing Collins.

If no can­di­date gets more than 50% of the vote in Novem­ber, the top two voteget­ters would move on to a runoff in Jan­uary.

On another is­sue, 63% of re­spon­dents to the Mon­mouth poll said cities should be able to es­tab­lish their own rules for wear­ing masks that are stricter than statewide reg­u­la­tions. Kemp is su­ing At­lanta of­fi­cials for im­pos­ing a mask-wear­ing re­quire­ment in­side the city.

More than 3 in 4 vot­ers (79%) sup­ported re­quir­ing peo­ple to wear masks in­doors in public places when they come within 6 feet of other peo­ple.

The poll’s mar­gin of er­ror was plus-or-mi­nus 4.9%.

Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg speaks via video con­fer­ence dur­ing a House Ju­di­ciary sub­com­mit­tee hear­ing on an­titrust on Capi­tol Hill on Wednesday in Wash­ing­ton.

Fend­ing off ac­cu­sa­tions of sti­fling com­pe­ti­tion, four Big Tech CEOS — Face­book’s Mark Zucker­berg, Ama­zon’s Jeff Be­zos, Sun­dar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Ap­ple — are an­swer­ing for their com­pa­nies’ prac­tices be­fore Congress as a House panel caps its year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion of mar­ket dom­i­nance in the in­dus­try.

The pow­er­ful CEOS sought to de­fend their com­pa­nies amid in­tense grilling by law­mak­ers on Wednesday.

The ex­ec­u­tives pro­vided bursts of data show­ing how com­pet­i­tive their mar­kets are, and the value of their in­no­va­tion and es­sen­tial ser­vices to con­sumers. But they some­times strug­gled to an­swer pointed ques­tions about their busi­ness prac­tices. They also con­fronted a range of other con­cerns about al­leged po­lit­i­cal bias, their ef­fect on U.S. democ­racy and their role in China.

The four CEOS were tes­ti­fy­ing re­motely to law­mak­ers, most of whom were sit­ting, in masks, in­side the hear­ing room in Wash­ing­ton.

Among the tough­est ques­tions for Google and Ama­zon in­volved ac­cu­sa­tions that they used their dom­i­nant plat­forms to scoop up data about com­peti­tors in a way that gave them an un­fair ad­van­tage.

Be­zos said in his first tes­ti­mony to Congress that he couldn’t guar­an­tee that the com­pany

WASH­ING­TON —

Ap-graeme Jen­nings

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump

Joe Bi­den

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