Georgia Runoffs Underway Today

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 5, 2021 — At long last, the 2020 US Senate election cycle will end today, and the determination of which party will hold the chamber’s majority for the next two years will likely become known late tonight.

To recap, Sen. David Perdue (R) and documentary filmmaker Jon Ossoff (D) battle for the in-cycle seat with the winner being awarded a six-year term. The special election winner, the race between appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Rev. Raphael Warnock (D), will serve the final two years of the term that resigned Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) won back in 2016. The seat will be in-cycle for the full six-year term in 2022.

The 2020 regular election outcome, current polling, and the early/mail voting count all suggest very close results to unfold this evening.

To re-cap:

2020 Regular Election Tallies – Nov 3, 2020

Seat A
Sen. David Perdue (R) 2,462,617 49.73%
Jon Ossoff (D) 2,374,519 47.95%
Shane Hazel (Lib) 115,039 2.32%
Total Cast 4,952,175
Seat B
Raphael Warnock (D) 1,617,035 32.90%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) 1,273,214 25.91%
18 Others (D/R/I) 2,024,112 41.19%
Total Votes
Total R Vote 2,426,120 49.37%
Total D Vote 2,377,712 48.38%
Total I Vote 110,529 2.25%
Total Cast 4,914,361


As we remember from the 2020 regular election, the polling projections were spotty, at best. In all instances where the cumulative surveys missed the mark, the Republican total was under-estimated. In Georgia, however, the pre-election projections proved relatively accurate.

As you will see, the numbers suggest an inconclusive outcome, but with one party likely winning both seats.

Last Four Polls:

1. AtlasIntel Jan. 2-4; 857 likely voters
Jon Ossoff (D) 51%
Sen. David Perdue (R) 47%
Raphael Warnock (D) 51%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) 47%
2. National Research, Inc. Jan. 2-3; 500 likely voters
Sen. David Perdue (R) 49%
Jon Ossoff (D) 49%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) 49%
Raphael Warnock (D) 49%
3. AtlasIntel Jan. 2-4; 857 likely voters
Jon Ossoff (D) 46%
Sen. David Perdue (R) 45%
Raphael Warnock (D) 46%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) 45%
4. UNLV Business School Dec. 30-Jan. 3; 550 likely voters
Sen. David Perdue (R) 49%
Jon Ossoff (D) 48%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) 49%
Raphael Warnock (D) 48%

Early/Mail Voting

The Target Smart statistical organization, as they did around the country for the regular election, published extrapolated early/mail voting data for these Georgia Senate runoff elections. The early voting numbers generally proved a better indicator than polling.

Here, we see both parties having some positive indicators. Republicans lead in terms of total ballots cast, but their margin is not as great as in the regular Georgia election.

The congressional district segment does show Republicans having a better turnout in 10 of the state’s 14 districts, including two seats, Districts 6 and 7, that Democrats now represent (Reps. Lucy McBath and Carolyn Bourdeaux, respectively). On the other hand, the Black turnout appears to be running a couple of points higher than it did in the regular election.

Party Votes Cast Percent of Vote
Republican 1,442,890 47.5%
Democrat 1,388,615 45.7%
Independent 207,002 6.8%

It is important to remember that voters do not register by political party in Georgia, meaning these numbers are only partisan projections.

All of this data suggests a pure toss-up election heading into the actual counting tonight. Democrats need to win both seats to even the Senate at 50-50. Republicans winning one of these two would clinch the majority in this now current congressional session.

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