The final day of early voting in the runoff elections for two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia is fast approaching, and the incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue is leading in one race and the Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock is ahead in the other, according to a recent Insider Advantage/Fox 5 Atlanta poll.
The early voting period ends Jan. 1, 2021 with election day four days later Jan. 5 when the results will determine whether Republicans or Democrats will have a majority in the U.S. Senate.
More than 1.6 million voters cast ballots in the first week of early voting, a turnout rate that is unusually high for runoff contests and on par with the participation seen in November’s general election.
The Insider Advantage/Fox 5 Atlanta poll has Perdue ahead of Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff by a 1% margin, 49-48. Warnock is ahead in the same poll, leading Republican Kelly Loeffler by a 2% margin at 49-47.
However, both Warnock and Perdue’s leads are within the poll’s 4.4-percent margin of error and both races look like they will be extremely close, with just 13 days until election day on January 5.
Loeffler was appointed to the Senate seat by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp following the retirement of longtime Senator Johnny Isakson. Loeffler assumed office on January 6 of this year and not long after visited Warnock and his congregation at his church, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
The Georgia Senate runoff has implications for the incoming administration of President-elect Biden. A victory in both seats for Democrats would mean the Senate is split 50-50, with the casting vote going to Vice-President elect Kamala Harris, herself a former Democratic Senator from California.
All eyes have been on Georgia since the November nationwide elections placed both senatorial seats in jeopardy following strong campaigns by Ossoff and Warnock that resulted in a runoff election given Georgia state law mandates a 50% vote for a win.
Both Republican and Democrat candidates have been busy campaigning this week just days before the Christmas holiday. Loeffler met with Black supporters including Kelvin and Jenelle King, owners of Osprey Management, a high-profile construction firm in North Atlanta, on Wednesday after receiving a letter with 100 signatures of Black pastors that asked her to tone down her campaign because of how it reflects against the Black church. Loeffler has repeatedly referred to Warnock as “radical” and “socialist.”
Ossoff made a campaign stop in midtown Atlanta Wednesday. During the rally Ossoff agreed with recent comments by President Donald Trump’s suggestion of raising the stimulus relief checks from $600 to $2,000.
President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden have also campaigned in Georgia on behalf of the Senators and candidates this month.