The two Senate drains in Georgia are closer than a 35-minute connection at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. According to FiveThirtyEight poll averages as of 6:00 p.m. January 3, Democrat Jon Ossoff leads Republican Senator David Perdue in the regular Senate elections with 49.2 to 47.4 percent, while Democrat Raphael Warnock leads Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler leads the special Senate elections with 49.5 to 47.2 percent.
And the two races have been so close since the first voting round on November 3rd. So at this point we don’t need any more polls to tell us what we already know: these races could go either way. In fact, between the polls, fundraising numbers, early voting data, and November results, both parties can find reasons to be optimistic about election day tomorrow. So we figured we’d take the case out for each side of the high school debate style. Nathaniel will explain all the reasons why Democrats are preferred, and then Geoffrey will advocate why Republicans will be ahead. Then you are the judge of which argument is more convincing – let us know in the comments or on Twitter. (And don’t forget to check out our live blog on Tuesday nights too.)
Nathaniel: The case for Democrats
As already mentioned, Ossoff and Warnock are each about 2 percentage points ahead in our survey average. Of course, these numbers still suggest a choice that could go either way, but if you do would have To pick a favorite based on them, you’d have to pick the Democrats. I know the 2020 poll had a non-stop year, but the reality is that polls are still our best tool for predicting elections, and it’s really difficult, if not impossible, to predict which way a poll error will lead becomes. And although it is true that the 2020 elections were chosen all in all wasn’t very accurate polls from Georgia were actually pretty good: FiveThirtyEight’s final poll average for the presidential race in Peach State was just 1 point below the final lead.
It’s not just the poll, however: the fundraising numbers look even better for Democrats. From October 15-16, Ossoff picked up $ 106.8 million and Warnock raised $ 103.4 million. It’s not just more than Perdue’s $ 68.1 million and Loefflers $ 64.0 millionbut it’s also more than any Senate candidate ever raised in a single quarter earlier (and October 15 – December 16 is only two months, not three!).
True if you take into account Output from external groupsthe money race is closer. Pro-Republican external groups have spent $ 180.5 million on television advertising since Nov. 10, while pro-Democratic external groups have only spent $ 63.1 million. However, external groups pay full freight for TV airtime, while TV broadcasters have to bill their candidates lowest prices. Although pro-republican forces (i.e. campaigns and outside groups combined) have spent more on television advertising than pro-democracy forces, the democratic side is actually show more ads because they get better for their money.
Early voting data is also encouraging to Democrats as it shows solid voter turnout from the democratic base in Georgia: Black voters. According to www.georgiavotes.com31 percent of voters are black, an unofficial vote tracking website using publicly available data from the Secretary of State. This is important because that is a much higher proportion than at this point in the general election (if the black portion of the electorate reached its lowest point since 2006Hurting Democrats in November, but giving them enough space to grow in the runoff). This is not a guarantee of black voter turnout stay so high when all is said and done but so far it looks like Democrats are doing what they need to do to improve their November performance and win the runoff elections.
Indeed, Georgia has changed; It’s not the stubborn red condition it once was. In November, Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to promote Georgia since 1992. And while Republicans were generally a hair ahead of Democrats in both Senate races, this low turnout from blacks suggests that Democrats have not reached their true potential. Plus, our estimates If the special election had been a head-to-head match between Warnock and Loeffler, Warnock might have won. According to our research into previous outflows, both the two-party margin is and The distance between the top two finishers is an indication of the runoff results. So for Democrats, it looks pretty promising that Warnock ended up 7 points ahead of Loeffler in November.
And to counter an argument you’ll hear if Geoffrey takes the floor, there is no guarantee that Republicans will do better in the runoff than they did in the general election. The factors that violated the Democrats in previous runoffs are arguably no longer true. More people voted in this runoff than any other runoff in Georgian history, making the general election a better comparison than previous runoffs. Black voter turnout has generally decreased in the last runoff elections. this year it looks like it may increase. The suburbs – which in the past beat over their weight in runoff elections – have lost their ancestral republicanism and are now slimly democratic. Moreover, President Trump’s refusal to allow the election could motivate Democratic voters, while his appearances claim that American elections could indeed be “rigged” depress the turnout of Republicans (Why vote at all when your vote is supposed to not count?)
Basically, all precedents – which tend to favor Republicans – are out of the window, as this runoff has the unusual distinction of determining control of the entire US Senate. Instead, we have a set of dates that looks promising to Democrats.
Geoffrey: The case for Republicans
Republicans may lag a little behind in the polls, but we should be careful reading too much into these polls as it is hard to say that the slim Democratic margin is so significant. Surveys routinely disagreed on who was at the top, and almost every survey fell within the margin of error. Additionally, it hasn’t had that many high-quality surveys – only two of the 16 companies that surveyed Georgia since November have a FiveThirtyEight survey rating higher than a B. This is regrettable, but not surprisingly gun-shy after election errors in November, given many survey participants. Simply put, a small misalignment toward the GOP wouldn’t be that surprising and would also be enough to give Loeffler and Perdue the edge.
Republicans also pursue fundraising, but again it’s unclear whether Democrats really have an advantage. First, both Loeffler and Perdue are still collecting a lot of Moolah, and studies have shown that both campaigns are well funded and Neither side has a real ad-buy advantage, their efforts tend to cancel each other out. Second, much of the money that fuels these campaigns comes from abroad. This is true of the Republican campaigns, but especially the Democrats, which means the mountains of cash that pour in don’t tell us too much about it Georgia Voter preferences. As we saw in November, there were strong donations to Democratic Senate candidates largely smoke protection – Many stayed behind even though they had clearly outperformed their GOP opponents. Granted, some of these races took place in states far redder than Georgia, but that was it true in Maine too, a state of Biden carried, and North Carolina, a state Trump just worn.
While Republicans don’t have a clear upper hand in the polls or fundraising game, that may not say as much about what’s going to happen as the actual November results. In both Senate competitions, Republican contenders had stronger voting performance, meaning they have less catching up to do than the Democrats. In the regular Senate elections, Perdue Ossoff led with around 1.8 points and was only 0.3 points less than the absolute majority, although Trump at the top of the ticket against Biden lost around 0.3 points. And in the special Senate elections, which saw multiple candidates from both parties running, the Republican overall vote led the Democrats’ overall vote by 1 point. And perhaps most importantly, the Republican Senate candidates in the Atlanta metropolitan area did a little better than Trump, backed by Split-ticket voters in affluent and mostly white communities like Buckhead in North Atlanta. Provided those voters stay with the GOP tomorrow, that might be enough for Loeffler and Perdue to carry the day off.
The early voting numbers are also promising for the GOP. While the increase in the proportion of black voters is a promising sign for the Democrats, there are signs that the runoff will be older, which could be promising for Republicans as older voters are more likely to be identified as Republicans. Voters aged 56 and over have already cast 52.1 percent of the early and absent ballots in the runoff election. according to the US election projectof 45.5 percent in the general election. Now it is impossible to know beforehand whether an older constituency will actually turn out to be more Republican. For example, the November New York Times result found that areas with high concentrations of older Georgian voters moved slightly to the left A stronger performance among early voters for the GOP would likely be all she wrote – especially given that early and absent voters cast 80 percent of all votes in November and the in-person voting on election day is likely to be heavily Republican; Trump won those voters with 22 points in November.
After all, while Nathaniel screwed it up, the GOP has outperformed the Democrats in runoff elections in the past. Aside from a 1998 runoff for a seat on the State Civil Service Commission, Republicans have always gained at least a little ground compared to the general election. While we only have a sample size of eight, some of the factors that have contributed to the success of the Republican runoff in the past could still come into play, like with an older electorate. And remember, if Republicans improve their November show, or even just hold the serve, they win.
There are some pretty good arguments on either side if we say so ourselves! In fact, it’s entirely possible that we’re both right. Partiality will ensure that almost all voters choose a direct Democratic (Ossoff and Warnock) or Republican (Perdue and Loeffler) ticket, but as the slightly different poll averages suggest, there are likely a handful of Perdue-Warnock (or Ossoff-Loeffler) voters out there. And when the races are very close – and it will be – a split result is out of the question. (This, of course, would be a loss to the Democrats, as they would have to win both seats to get a 50:50 split in the Senate, which would then give them control of the Chamber thanks to Vice-President-elect Kamala, Harris’ tie.)
We’ll find out on Tuesday night – maybe. Although Georgia counted the vast majority (over 90 percent) of his votes on election night, a close race would take a few more days to resolve. As a matter of fact exactly what happened in the general election. No matter what, we’ll blog everything live from start to finish. So come back here on Tuesday evening. The polls close at 7 p.m. East.