The runoffs for Georgia’s two Senate seats will likely result in a close contest, and almost certainly hinges on the question of partisan control of the upper chamber. If that does prove to be the overriding issue with Georgia voters, then Republicans are in luck, according to a new poll from Political IQ. Voters favor continued GOP control by five points and have picked up a bit more momentum since the last P-IQ poll in November.
However, the news isn’t all good either:
With Joe Biden as President-elect, 48% of Georgia voters believe it is more important to have Republicans control the Senate to serve as a check on the president. However, a Political IQ survey found that 43% take the opposite view. They think it is more important for Democrats to control the Senate so they can work with the president.
A late November survey of Georgia voters found Republican control favored by a 46% to 42% margin.
The latest survey of Likely Voters, conducted by Scott Rasmussen, found that 5% say it doesn’t matter and 3% are not sure. …
Overall, in terms of its impact on their own life, 79% of Likely Voters consider the run-off Very Important. That total includes 84% of Republicans, 79% of Democrats, and 67% of others.
That should indicate a better turnout among Republican voters. That’s pretty good news, considering the boycott calls from Donald Trump allies and the attacks on Georgia’s voting system from Trump himself. So far, there’s no evidence at all that the Republican electorate has been demoralized.
The RNC already has a superior GOTV ground game, but that might be a bit negated in the circumstances of a special election. Both parties are using an all-hands-on-deck approach to Georgia, so even the resource-poor DNC might have been able to assemble its own effective ground game. Democrats are being outspent on the ground and in the air too, but there is a question of saturation that might end up making the air games equal, too. At some point, Georgia voters will simply tune out the TV and radio ads, figuratively if not literally.
All of that only matters if the two Republicans can make their case. In P-IQ’s other poll, that doesn’t look quite as good:
As was the case in November, a Political IQ survey of the upcoming U.S. Senate races in Georgia shows that the outcome of the January 5 election is far too close to call at this point.
The survey, conducted December 8 to 14, found that Democrat Jon Ossoff holds a statistically insignificant two-point advantage over Senator David Perdue. Ossoff earns 49% of the vote to Perdue’s 47%. In the other Senate race, it’s Democrat Raphael Warnock with a similarly insignificant 49% to 48% edge over appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler. …
Both Democrats are projected to have a double-digit lead among early voters. Ossoff is up 56% to 42% among those who have voted or plan to vote early. Among those same voters, Warnock is up 55% to 42%. Both Republicans, however, enjoy a 61% to 33% lead among those who plan to vote in-person on Election Day.
Among those who say the election is Very Important to them, Ossoff and Perdue are tied at 49%. And, among that group, Loeffler has a two-point edge over Warnock (50% to 48%).
The early vote advantage seen in this poll is almost certainly not wide enough for the two Democrats. They have been bragging that the pace of requests exceeded that of the general election, but Karl Rove debunked that last week. In fact, he notes that the early returns indicate that the GOP is doing better in early voting than in the November election:
After trailing Democrats in mail voting for the November election, Republicans have narrowed the gap for absentee votes in the runoffs so far, state data shows.
Asked for comment, Georgia Republican Party officials pointed to a recent Fox News interview with GOP strategist Karl Rove, who said the early returns of mail ballots in particular from older voters were a good sign that older Republican voters were casting ballots.
“This is a fight to the finish. Republicans are doing pretty good right now. They’ve got a long way to go,” Rove said in the interview.
Also, the RCP data on polling shows other surveys shifting in the GOP’s favor. Emerson has both Republicans up three, and GOP-affiliated Trafalgar has Loeffler up six points over Warnock (while Perdue leads by two). Trafalgar, whose surveys have performed pretty well in the last couple of cycles, has both Republicans at 50%, too.
It’s still too early to call, as Scott Rasmussen says. However, I’d rather be the Republicans than the Democrats at this point in Georgia, and I’d bet the Democrats feel the same way.