A total of 46,043 Georgians who voted in the presidential race did not choose a candidate in the Perdue-Ossoff Senate contest, for a drop-off rate of just under one percentage point. In the special election, however, with 20 candidates on the ballot, 83,409 individuals did not participate in that contest even though they either returned a ballot in the mail or voted in person. The drop-off rate for the special Senate election, therefore, was 1.7%.
Seeing less votes in what are termed “down ballot contests” is typical, as the top race virtually always attracts the most votes. Almost doubling the drop-off rate for the two Senate races, however, is interesting, and we’ll see in January if the pattern repeats itself in the secondary election. The two runoff Senate elections will be held on January 5, 2021.
The Peach State of Georgia proved pivotal in the 2020 election, so it is worth looking at some turnout stats from this politically transforming place. The turnout increased 17.4% when compared to the 2016 presidential race. Nationally, the increase as mentioned above was approximately 7.8%. During the same four-year period, the state population expanded by approximately 4%, showing that voter participation outpaced population growth and more than doubled the national voting percentage increase.
At this point, only three states saw incumbent Senators being defeated: Doug Jones (D-AL), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Cory Gardner (R-CO). Under Georgia law, since both of their Senate races, the regular cycle campaign and the special election, failed to produce a majority winner, a runoff election will be held for each position on January 5th.
In races of note, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) defied pollsters projecting a Democratic victory for state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) and won by nine percentage points. Despite over $100 million being spent against both Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), both were re-elected with victory percentages exceeding 58 and 54%, respectively. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters (MI) scored a close win over GOP challenger John James; Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Steve Daines (R-MT) recorded strong victories despite polling suggesting that both could lose.
In the four open seat campaigns, the incumbent party won each. The new Senators are Roger Marshall (R-KS), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).
Two races, in addition to both Georgia Senate seats going to runoffs, remain uncalled but with a clear trend. With only 50% of the votes counted in Alaska, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) has a strong 62-32% lead. In North Carolina, with the post-election ballot reception period closing on November 12th, Sen. Thom Tillis (R) looks to have a small lead that won’t be surpassed, again despite polling projecting a Democratic victory for party nominee Cal Cunningham.
Assuming the uncalled races remain Republican, the GOP will have a 50-48 advantage heading into the Georgia runoffs, meaning they will retain the majority with a win in at least one of the two Senate races to be decided January 5th.
Two Senate races were called yesterday, one for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who scored a 51-42% victory over state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport). Ms. Gideon conceded the race yesterday even though the count had not ended. In Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters (D) was projected with a very close win (49.6 – 48.5%) over GOP challenger John James.
The two calls mean that the high number for the Republican majority is 52, with the Democratic maximum being 51. The most likely outcome from the current trends and potentially projecting the runoff election under what may be a Biden victory at the presidential level is either a Republican majority of 51 or 52 seats.
In the House, 40 races remain uncalled, yet many of them are now reporting 100% of the vote being received. Of the 40, the Republicans lead in 25 and the Democrats in 15. This would translate in a Republican net gain in the House of most likely between five and nine seats.
Below is a list of the races that remain uncalled and which candidate is currently leading.
Alaska: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) - Status: 62.3%; Reporting: 50%
Georgia-A: Sen. David Perdue (R) - must reach 50%; Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 97%
Georgia-B: Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) - Status: 32.5%; Reporting: 96%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) - Status: 26.2%; Reporting: Runoff
Maine: Sen. Susan Collins (R) - Winner; Status: 51.1%
Michigan: Sen. Gary Peters (D) - Winner; Status: 49.6%
North Carolina: Sen. Thom Tillis (R) - Status: 48.7%; Reporting: 93%
AK-AL: Rep. Don Young (R) - Status: 63.3%; Reporting: 53%
AZ-1: Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D) - Status: 52.1%; Reporting: 92%
AZ-6: Hiral Tipirneni (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 76%
CA-4: Rep. Tom McClintock (R) - Status: 52.9%; Reporting: 87%
CA-8: Jay Obernolte (R) - Status: 53.3%; Reporting: 37%
CA-21: David Valadao (R) - Status: 51.4%; Reporting: 42%
CA-25: Christy Smith (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 77%
CA-39: Young Kim (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 89%
CA-48: Michelle Steel (R) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 93%
CA-50: Darrell Issa (R) - Status: 52.2%; Reporting: 51%
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) - Status: 51.2%; Reporting: 100%
IA-2: Marianette Miller-Meeks (R) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 100%
IL-14: Jim Oberweis (R) - Status: 50.1%; Reporting: 100%
IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D) - Status: 51.8%; Reporting: 100%
IN-5: Victoria Spartz (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 99%
MI-3: Peter Meijer (R) - Status: 53.1%; Reporting: 99%
MI-5: Dan Kildee (D) - Status: 54.3%; Reporting: 100%
MI-11: Haley Stevens (D) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 97%
MN-1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) - Status: 48.6%; Reporting: 100%
MN-2: Rep. Angie Craig (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 100%
NJ-2: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 75%
NV-3: Rep. Susie Lee (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 85%
NV-4: Rep. Steven Horsford (D) - Status: 49.7%; Reporting: 65%
NY-1: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) - Status: 61.3%; Reporting: 99%
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino (R) - Status: 58.1%; Reporting: 99%
NY-3: George Santos (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 99%
NY-4: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D) - Status: 52.0%; Reporting: 100%
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis (R) - Status: 57.9%; Reporting: 95%
NY-18: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) - Status: 50.8%; Reporting: 100%
NY-19: Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) - Status: 51.3%; Reporting: 98%
NY-22: Claudia Tenney (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 100%
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) - Status: 58.5%; Reporting: 100%
PA-7: Lisa Scheller (R) - Status: 50.7%; Reporting: 86%
PA-8: Jim Bognet (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 86%
PA-10: Rep. Scott Perry (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 89%
PA-17: Sean Parnell (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 94%
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne (R) - Status: 48.8%; Reporting: 99%
UT-4: Rep. Ben McAdams (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 69%
VA-7: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) - Status: 50.6%; Reporting: 100%
WA-3: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) - Status: 54.7%; Reporting: 80%
Last night’s national election, as predicted, looks to be headed to political overtime.
The presidential race won’t be decided for more than a day, and possibly not until all ballots are received and counted in Pennsylvania. The state’s post-election ballot reception deadline is Friday, November 6th, at 5:00 pm.
It appears that former Vice President Joe Biden (D) has the inside track to unseat the President, but Mr. Trump still has a narrow path to victory.
It is likely that the Republicans have held the Senate majority despite what appears to be a close loss at the top of the ticket. Defending 13 of the most vulnerable 16 Senate seats, the GOP may break even. Converting Alabama and leading in Michigan offsets the loss of seats in Arizona and Colorado. Four races remain undecided.
Republicans had a much better night in the House than expected. With 43 races still uncalled, a reasonable projection suggests the Democrats will return to the House with a majority margin approximately seven seats less than in the current Congress. This would make the new majority 226D-209R, and certainly put House control front and center for the 2022 election cycle.
In the 11 Governor’s races, we saw one state flip from Democrat to Republican, the open Montana race that completed a Republican sweep of the top four statewide offices. At-Large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) was elected the state’s new Governor replacing term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D) who lost the Senate race to incumbent Steve Daines (R).
Polling and predictions generally proved unreliable. Once more, the big leads projected for the Democratic presidential nominee in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin did not materialize, while cumulative polling projections did correctly forecast Arizona and potentially Georgia. For the fourth consecutive major statewide race in Florida, the overwhelming number of pollsters failed to correctly project the winner.
It appears the cumulative polling community is potentially wrong in several Senate races including North Carolina, Maine, and the Michigan margin even if Sen. Gary Peters (D) rebounds to win. They also consistently under-estimated Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s electoral strength.
The media projection early in the evening of Democrats gaining seats in the House also proved incorrect.
The projected record turnout may not be as high as many projected. While it is clear we will exceed the 136,792,535 voters we saw in 2016, which was a record participation level at the time, the grand total in this election may not reach the 150 million mark that many analysts were suggesting, and very likely not the 155 million others predicted. We are likely to venture beyond 140 million, but how much further remains to be seen when all of the states have reported, and ballots completely tabulated.
We will have further coverage of the finer details in the coming days.
For the second day in a row, a new Georgia Senate poll confirms that Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) is improving his position and now is in a clear dogfight for the second runoff position with appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R). The University of Georgia, polling for the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper in a large sample live interview poll (10/14-23; 1,145 GA likely voters; live interview), sees Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) leading the pack of candidates with 34% of the vote, while Rep. Collins slips past Sen. Loeffler for second position with a 21-20% split. The top two finishers will advance to a January 5, 2021 runoff election since no poll projects any of the candidates close to the 50% mark, which would elect him or her outright.
The new Atlanta-based Landmark Communications survey (10/21; 500 GA likely voters) confirmed other new data that suggests Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) has a chance to move ahead of appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) to capture the second runoff position. Another survey, from Opinion Insight (10/12-15; 800 GA likely voters; live interview) sees Collins and Loeffler virtually tied for second place, just one point apart in the Senator’s favor. Democrat Raphael Warnock (D) appears the clear favorite to finish first.
The runoff election will occur if none of the 19 candidates on the special election ballot can secure majority support in the November 3rd jungle primary. The runoff is scheduled for January 5, 2021.
Yesterday, we covered the latest Emerson College poll that found Georgia Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) making a move on the Senate special election field. The Emerson survey projected Mr. Collins tied with Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) and ahead of Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) by seven percentage points.
The Siena College/New York Times survey has a different take. It’s new poll (10/13-19; 759 GA likely voters; live interview) sees Rev. Warnock, who is coalescing the Democratic vote around his candidacy, leading the pack with 32%, while Sen. Loeffler trails at 23% support. Rep. Collins is back all the way to 17%. This large disparity between the two surveys taken within the same time frame suggests that the entire special election jungle primary field is fluid.
The School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia, the regular pollster for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution newspaper (9/27-10/6; 1,106 GA likely voters; live interview), finds a change in one of the state’s Senate races and a solidification for the other.
In the Georgia-A seat for the regular six-year term, Sen. David Perdue (R) has now expanded what was a tenuous lead over Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. The results find Sen. Perdue leading with his largest margin, eight percentage points, 49-41%. The survey also finds Democrat Raphael Warnock, the pastor at Dr. Martin Luther King’s former Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta, potentially locking down first place in the jungle primary, but nowhere near the 50% mark to claim the seat. The totals find Rev. Warnock recording 28% support, with appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) following with 22 and 21%, respectively.
Two other pollsters, Landmark Communications and Public Policy Polling, see things a bit differently. Landmark (10/7; 600 GA likely voters) projects Sen. Perdue to be leading, 47-45% in the A-seat, while Rev. Warnock has a stronger 36-26-23% advantage over Sen. Loeffler and Rep. Collins. PPP (10/8-9; 528 GA voters) finds Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff with a one-point, 44-43% edge in Senate-A, while Rev. Warnock’s lead is an even larger 41-24-22% over Sen. Loeffler and Rep. Collins.
Democratic pollster Hart Research Associates ran a series of polls around the country, and the firm included Georgia’s two Senate campaigns. Their data shows a bit of a swing from what we have been seeing in the recent past. Most of the recent polling has shown virtually a dead heat between Sen. David Perdue (R) and challenger Jon Ossoff (D), with most yielding a slight tilt toward the Democrat.
The Hart poll (9/24-27; 400 GA likely voters; live interview) finds Sen. Perdue leading the race by three percentage points, 49-46%. In the Senate special election, Hart projects a tie at 28% apiece between Democrat Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father once served, and appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R). Trailing with 21% is Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville). The other two Democrats, businessman Matt Lieberman and former US Attorney Ed Tarver, fail to reach 10% support.
If no one receives majority support on November 3rd, the top two finishers will advance to a January 5th runoff election. Today, it appears that moving to a secondary election is a virtual certainty.
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