A Political IQ survey of the upcoming U.S. Senate races in Georgia shows that both races remain competitive and the outcome of the January 5 election is far too close to call at this point. Barring some unforeseen events, the outcome is likely to be determined by voter turnout.
Among all Registered Voters who say they are at least somewhat likely to vote, Democrat Jon Ossoff attracts 48% of the vote while incumbent Senator David Perdue earns 47%. Five percent (5%) are not sure.
However, among the smaller group who say they will Definitely Vote, Perdue picks up 50% of the vote while Ossoff is at 47%.
The same dynamic is found in the state’s other Senate race. Among all voters who are at least somewhat likely to vote, Democrat Ralph Warnock has a statistically insignificant 48% to 46% advantage over Senator Kelly Loeffler. Among those who will Definitely Vote, it’s Loeffler 49% and Warnock 47%.
The overall sample of 1,377 Likely Voters includes 39% who consider themselves Republicans, 39% who are Democrats, and 21% who are unaffiliated. Among those who say they will Definitely Vote, 42% are Republicans, 40% Democrats, and 19% unaffiliated.
The survey was conducted by Scott Rasmussen from November 19-24, 2020. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2.6 percentage points for the full sample. For results based upon those who will Definitely Vote, it is +/- 3.0 percentage points.
Looking back to the November election, 48% of the Likely Voters in this sample cast their ballots for Perdue and 47% for Ossoff. Three percent (3%) say they voted for a third-party candidate. The rest either did not vote or chose not to reveal their choice.
Estimating voter turnout has been challenging in 2020 partly because of the pandemic and unprecedented levels of mail-in voting. Estimating voter turnout in special elections is difficult even under ordinary circumstances. That challenge is magnified this year since control of the U.S. Senate is at stake. The races are attracting extraordinary levels of campaign spending and get-out-the-vote efforts.
During the national election concluded last month, Democrats were far more likely to vote by mail than Republicans. As a result, the biggest difficulty in projecting turnout was estimating the relative number of people who would vote in-person on election day and the number who would vote by mail. In this survey, no effort was made to determine whether people intended to vote by mail or in-person. That dynamic will be measured in the next and final Political IQ survey of the race.
Data released earlier showed that, by a 46% to 42% margin, Georgia voters would prefer Republicans to control the U.S. Senate. That will happen unless Democrats win both Senate races in Georgia.
Georgia Democrats see COVID as the top-issue while Republicans tend to cite the economy. In response to open-ended questions, 63% of Republicans give a partisan reason for how they will vote. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democrats did the same.
The survey of 1,377 Likely Voters in Georgia was conducted by Scott Rasmussen from November 19-24, 2020. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Respondents were contacted online or via text. They were selected from a list of Registered Voters and through a process of Random Digital Engagement. A total of 1,500 Registered Voters were interviewed and asked about their likelihood of voting. For purposes of this survey, likely voters were defined as those who say they are at least somewhat likely to vote. Certain quotas were applied and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the state’s population. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population. The margin of sampling error: +/- 2.6 percentage points.