And on that front, there isn’t much ambiguity: the campaigns mostly sorted out what worked and what didn’t during the general election. So they say they rely less on polls overall, and more on simple voter rotation.
Robert Cahaly, an Atlanta-based Republican pollster, said the battle lines were pretty clearly drawn now. “Any labeling that Democrats say hurts them, Republicans will be smart to use in this race,” he said. “Cancel the culture, ‘defund the police’ – all of this helped beat the Democrats” in the lower ballot election last month.
Republicans say they are encouraged by the fact that on November 3 – what political observers quickly call “the only poll that matters” – Mr. Perdue beat Mr. Ossoff by nearly two percentage points. If all the same voters showed up on January 5, he would only need to pick up a tiny fraction of those who voted for libertarian candidate Shane Hazel to win.
But that’s not how runoff works. A significant portion of those who voted as a third party are unlikely to return in January, and neither will a portion of those who voted for a major party candidate.
For these reasons, the second round elections are among the most difficult to probe. It is particularly difficult to determine which voters will run: it will likely be less than in a general election, but the numbers will not likely reflect a typical midterm electorate either. In November, around five million people voted in Georgia, breaking a record. As of Thursday afternoon, nearly a million ballots had already been cast in the second round, according to government data compiled by the US Elections Project. With hundreds of millions of dollars invested in political ads in these two campaigns alone, millions of additional votes are expected by January 5.
The polling industry is in a period of consolidation – licking its wounds and keeping your head down until the inevitable flood of postmortem analyzes and academic reports arrives, likely early next year. They will explore possible causes for the poll fiasco this fall, when polls nationwide and in various states underestimated support for President Trump and his Republican allies. Even without seeing those reports, pollsters agree there’s a good chance they missed part of the Republican electorate – especially in polls with Mr. Trump on the ballot.
This was not such a pronounced problem in Georgia, where the polls have done relatively well. Trey Hood, who heads the University of Georgia’s voting operation, conducted a survey in mid-October for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that showed Mr. Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. in full swing – s’ aligning well with the final election results. . Dr Hood said a post-election analysis of his own poll did not indicate he had a significantly higher refusal rate in areas supporting Trump.