A shift against President Trump among white college-educated voters in Georgia has imperiled Republicans up and down the ballot, according to a New York Times/Siena College survey on Tuesday, as Republicans find themselves deadlocked or trailing in Senate races where their party was once considered the heavy favorite.
In the presidential race, Joe Biden and Mr. Trump were tied at 45 percent among likely voters, unchanged from a Times/Siena poll last month. But over the same period, Senator David Perdue’s lead has evaporated against the Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff, while another Democrat, Raphael Warnock, has pulled ahead in the Senate special election, including in polling of a possible January runoff.
The findings are the latest indication that Democrats could be on the cusp of realizing their often tantalizing but elusive dream of a Blue Georgia. A victory there for Mr. Biden would doom the president in his bid for re-election, and even one Senate victory could be the difference in giving Democrats control of the Senate. The Trump campaign has run millions of dollars’ worth of often uncontested television advertisements to hold a state that he carried by five percentage points in 2016, and the president visited the state last week.
The results suggest that his efforts have done little to nudge the state in his favor, though it may have helped stabilize his numbers in Georgia as Mr. Biden has made gains nationwide. And the poll even finds some surprising gains for Mr. Trump among nonwhite voters.
But as with the Sun Belt in general, the president’s weakness among white college-educated voters threatens the Republican grip on a state where demographic shifts have already eroded the party’s edge. Over all, Mr. Trump led Mr. Biden by 12 percentage points among white college graduates, 52 percent to 40 percent. A 12-point lead among this group would ordinarily count as good news for the president, but not in Georgia, where Republicans have traditionally counted on huge margins among white voters — with or without a college degree — to overwhelm the state’s large share of Democratic Black voters.
White college graduates in the survey said they backed Mr. Trump in 2016, 57 percent to 37 percent, which already represented a significant deterioration in Republican strength. Mitt Romney won nearly of 80 percent of white college graduates in 2012, according to Upshot estimates, enough to win the state by eight points despite record Black turnout.
The president remains competitive because of overwhelming support among white Georgians without a college degree. They back Mr. Trump, 76-18, including an even wider 83-13 lead among white voters without a degree in nonmetropolitan counties.
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Mr. Trump’s resilience among white voters without a degree defies the trend elsewhere in the country. National and battleground state polls suggest that Mr. Biden has made significant gains among the group, imperiling the president’s hold on the Northern battleground states that decided the last election.
But the Deep South has been a notable exception to those Biden gains in Times/Siena…