And on this front there is not much ambiguity: the campaigns mostly clarified what worked and what did not work during the parliamentary elections. So they say they rely less on voting over everything than they rely on simply taking voters out.
Robert Cahaly, a Republican pollster based in Atlanta, said the battle lines were now pretty clear. “Any labels that the Democrats believe will hurt them, the Republicans will be wise to use in this race,” he said. “Break culture, defeat the police” – all of which helped defeat the Democrats “in last month’s elections.
Republicans are encouraged that on November 3, Mr Perdue – what political observers winkly refer to as “the only poll that matters” – beat Mr Ossoff by almost two percentage points. If all the same voters turned out to be the same on January 5, he would only have to pick up a tiny fraction of those who cast ballots for libertarian candidate Shane Hazel to win.
But that’s not how drains work. A significant portion of those who voted for third parties are unlikely to return in January, and neither will a portion of those who voted for a candidate for a large party.
For these reasons, runoff elections are among the most difficult to vote. It’s especially difficult to tell which voters will turn out: it will most likely be fewer than the general election, but the numbers also likely won’t reflect a typical medium-term electorate. Around five million people voted in Georgia in November, which shattered a record. According to the government, almost a million ballots had already been cast in the runoff elections by Thursday afternoon US election project. Hundreds of millions of dollars are poured into political ads in these two campaigns alone, and millions more votes are expected by January 5th.
The electoral industry is in a regrouping phase – licking its wounds and keeping its head down until the inevitable spate of autopsy and academic reports arrives likely early next year. These will investigate the possible causes of this fall’s campaign fiasco, when polls across the country and in various states underestimated support for President Trump and his Republican allies. Even without seeing these reports, polls agree that there’s a good chance they’ve missed some of the Republican electorate – especially with polls with Mr. Trump on the ballot.
This was not a major problem in Georgia, where the polls did relatively well. Trey Hood, who heads the University of Georgia polls, conducted a poll on the Atlanta Journal’s constitution in mid-October that showed Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. were in a dead heat – which agrees well with final election results. Dr. Hood said a post-election analysis of his own poll failed to show that he had a significantly higher rejection rate in Trump-supportive areas.