In the November election, Senator Kelly Loeffler received fewer votes than her Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock and will go into the runoff vote, following him in the polls.
Mr. Loeffler, who was nominated to fill the seat of Senator Johnny Isakson after the latter retired, is seven points behind Warnock in a WXIA TV poll released Thursday. That’s a larger lead than in the post-election polls, and of the three most recent polls, Loeffler is only ahead in one of the three most recent polls.
Loeffler leads the WXIA television poll with 52 percent, up from 45 percent, and the SurveyUSA respondents who conducted the survey said his advantage was the Democrats’ refusal to vote for Loeffler. Only 1 percent of the Democrats surveyed said they would vote for Loeffler, and Warnock has 97 percent of his party’s support.
Loeffler also has the Republicans firmly in his grip, but at 92 percent he is not as strong as Warnock’s appeal to the Democrats. But when it comes to President Donald Trump’s supporters, Loeffler has slightly more support (94 percent) than the GOP as a whole.
Trump is expected to travel to a rally in Georgia on Saturday to win support for Loeffler and Senator David Perdue, who also faces a runoff election on January 5. The president, who is urging his supporters to vote for Loeffler, may prove necessary to counteract the votes that are encouraging GOP voters to withhold their vote in protest.
Lin Wood, a prominent Republican lawyer, has encouraged voters to tell Loeffler and Perdue that they will not vote for them unless the senators demand an investigation into the November election.
“We will not go to vote on January 5 with another China-made machine. You will not fool the Georgians again,” Wood said at a Wednesday rally in Alpharetta. “Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election? For God’s sake, fix it. You have to fix it before we do it again.”
Sidney Powell, who appeared at a press conference with Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani before the campaign broke ties with her, also encouraged the Georgians to “announce” that they will not vote until their “vote is safe.
This is not the first time that voters have been encouraged to withhold their vote, and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, advised people to ignore this advice. To ensure Loeffler and Perdue won the election, the senators needed the votes of all GOP and Trump supporters, he said.
In addition to the desire for another GOP victory under their belts, the runoff election in Georgia is attracting a lot of attention because control over the Senate is in limbo. If Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who is fighting for Perdue’s seat, succeed in ousting the incumbents, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate. In the event of a tie, the vote of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will decide, giving the Democrats control of both houses of Congress and the White House.
One thing speaks for Loeffler that this time she will only go against Warnock. In the November election, Congressman Doug Collins was also in the running, winning 20 percent of the vote. Since he dropped out of the race, it is possible that Loeffler could take Collins’ voters with him, which would put them ahead of Warnock if the January vote reflects the November result.
It is expected that both races will be close together and that Democrats and Republicans will bring their resources to the race. A Fox5 poll in Atlanta on November 16 revealed that Loeffler received 48 percent of the vote, just one point behind Warnock. The tide turned in favor of Loeffler in a Remington Research Group poll on November 8 and 9, which gave her a 49 to 48 percent lead over Warnock.
“This will be a 100 percent start to end an election with low voter turnout,” Titus Bond, president of the Remington Research Group told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It will be intensified. It will be ideology from start to finish. It will be about motivating the grassroots to vote again,” Titus Bond told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.