Assuming the polls are correct, the choice between Senator David Perdue and his Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff next month will be very close, because at this point in time it is a clear victory for everyone.
In November’s election, Ossoff was only 1.8 points behind Perdue, but according to a WXIA TV poll published on Thursday, he was two points ahead of the Republican incumbent. This is within the margin of error of the poll, so SurveyUSA pollsters said the results should only be seen as proof that “every vote will be decisive” in the January 5th runoff.
Thus, in many states, whoever gets more votes in the November election will be the winner of the Senate seat. In Georgia, however, a candidate for the Senate must receive at least 50 percent of the votes to become the winner. Perdue came close to the 50 percent threshold of 49.7 percent in November, but narrowly missed the 50 percent threshold, sending him and Ossoff into a runoff.
Perdue, who has been in the Senate since 2015, has a slightly stronger grip on his party’s base than Ossoff has on his own, according to the survey. Ninety-six percent of GOP voters responded to the poll that they would vote for Perdue, and 94 percent of Democrats plan to vote for Ossoff.
The candidates have a chance next month to influence the 2.3 percent of voters who voted for the Liberal Party candidate, Shane Hazel, and in a close race they could make the difference between the Republicans keeping or losing control of the Senate.
If Perdue or Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican incumbent who is in a separate runoff, retain their seats, Republicans will have a narrow majority in the Senate. However, if Democratic challengers succeed in ousting the Republicans, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate. This gives the Democrats de facto control, because in the event of a tie, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast the deciding vote.
Both parties are pumping millions of dollars into the Senate election campaign and deploying their resources for Georgia. President Donald Trump is expected to come to a rally on Saturday to promote GOP senators, and celebrities have called on people to step out to vote for the Democratic challengers.
There will probably be more as the election approaches, because it’s not just the WXIA TV poll that shows it’s going to be a hard-fought battle. A poll conducted on November 16 by Fox5 Atlanta found that Perdue and Ossoff each had 49 percent of voter support, and a Remington Research Group poll gave Perdue a 50-46 percent lead, with 4 percent of voters undecided.
While the candidates and parties with an interest in the election will continue the push until the last ballot, the early voting will begin on December 7, leaving only a few days before the number of available votes begins to dwindle.