Now, it’s true that Democrats running in the special election did slightly better than Ossoff, but one key challenge for both Loeffler and Warnock in the special election is that each will have to consolidate support from voters who backed other candidates in the first round of the special election. (Republican candidates other than Loeffler won 23.5 percent while Democrats other than Warnock won 15.5 percent.) But in such a polarized and partisan environment, both Democratic and Republican voters should mostly come home to their nominees.
Take the latest SurveyUSA poll of the race, where Warnock attracted 97 percent of Democrats and Loeffler won 92 percent of Republicans. It was a similar story with the InsideAdvantage survey: Warnock won 94 percent of Democrats while Loeffler won 89 percent of Republicans. That means much of the race could boil down to how independents swing; in SurveyUSA’s poll, for instance, they split almost evenly in both races. But with about four weeks of campaigning to go, voters’ preferences could change.
The state is already being bombarded with arguments from both sides: A staggering $283 million has been spent on TV ads, and observers estimate that the total could reach half a billion dollars when all is said and done. Trump himself held a rally there on Saturday, which could inspire his base to turn out for Loeffler and Perdue but could also incite Democrats to turn out in opposition. (Georgia, as you may have heard, is now a purple state; in fact, it was the state decided by the smallest margin in the 2020 presidential election.)