The Runoff Report: Poll: Ossoff and Perdue about even, Warnock slightly leading Loeffler

Republicans have secured 50 seats in the next U.S. Senate compared to Democrats’ 48 (including two independents who caucus with them). Control of the next Senate comes down to Georgia’s runoff elections. In The Runoff Report, we provide the latest on each race and the fight for Senate control.

SurveyUSA released poll results for the regular and special runoff elections. The poll had a credibility interval (similar to a margin of error, but for nonprobability samples) of +/- 5.2 percentage points.

Regular election poll results 

The regular election poll showed Jon Ossoff and David Perdue about even, 50%-48%. Some demographic breakdowns:

  • Democrats: 94% Ossoff, 5% Perdue
  • Republicans: 96% Perdue, 4% Ossoff
  • Independents: 47% Ossoff, 45% Perdue
  • White: 71% Perdue, 28% Ossoff
  • Black: 92% Ossoff, 5% Perdue
  • Loeffler runoff voters: 97% Perdue, 3% Ossoff
  • Warnock runoff voters: 93% Ossoff, 6% Perdue

The regular election is for a full six-year term ending January 2027. Perdue was first elected in 2014. Ossoff ran against Karen Handel (R) in the 6th Congressional District special election in 2017.

Click here for more coverage of the regular election.

Special election poll results

The special election poll showed Raphael Warnock slightly ahead of Kelly Loeffler, 52%-45%. Some demographic breakdowns:

  • Democrats: 97% Warnock, 1% Loeffler
  • Republicans: 92% Loeffler, 5% Warnock
  • Independents: 47% Warnock, 44% Loeffler
  • White: 67% Loeffler, 30% Warnock
  • Black: 90% Warnock, 7% Loeffler
  • Perdue runoff voters: 90% Loeffler, 7% Warnock
  • Ossoff runoff voters: 97% Warnock, 2% Loeffler

The special election will fill the remainder of the term Johnny Isakson (R) won in 2016. He resigned in Dec. 2019, and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Loeffler, co-owner of the WNBA team Atlanta Dream. Warnock is senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The winner will complete the term ending in January 2023. 

Click here for more coverage of the special election.

What did SurveyUSA’s last poll before the Nov. 3 elections show?

A SurveyUSA poll conducted Oct. 8-13 showed the following, with a credibility interval of +/- 5.7 percentage points:

Presidential: Biden 48%, Trump 46%
Election results: Biden 49.5%, Trump 49.3%

Regular Senate: Perdue 46%, Ossoff 43%
Election results: Perdue 49.7%, Ossoff 47.9%

Special Senate: Warnock 30%, Loeffler 26%
Election results: Warnock 32.9%, Loeffler 25.9%

Overall campaign updates

  • According to ad tracking company AdImpact, the four Senate campaigns and various satellite groups are poised to spend more than $300 million on advertising in the runoffs. The figure includes TV, radio, and digital ad time already purchased or reserved. Republican supporters account for $177 million of the total spending and Democratic supporters, $130 million. 
  • President Donald Trump will campaign at Valdosta Regional Airport with Loeffler, Perdue, and public service commissioner runoff candidate Lauren “Bubba” McDonald (R) Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • Really American PAC is crowdfunding for billboards across Georgia featuring the message, “Perdue/Loeffler Didn’t Deliver For Trump, Don’t Deliver For Them.” 

Georgia Republican Party spokesperson Abigail Sigler said Wednesday, “It’s disappointing to see an extreme left-wing super PAC come into Georgia with the sole intention of deceiving voters, but no amount of billboards will divide Georgia Republicans who know that Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue continue to stand with President Donald Trump.”

The PAC said, “If David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler win the run-off election, Donald Trump will become the only Republican to lose Georgia in a generation. … In a rare twist of fate, Trump supporters and those who want to see Reverend Warnock and Jon Ossoff win have a shared interest in seeing the two Republicans who failed to deliver a victory for Trump (Loeffler & Perdue), lose.”

Today: Senate runoff result history

Georgia held runoff elections for U.S. Senate in 1992 and 2008—both presidential election years. Both years also had runoffs for the statewide office of public service commissioner.

The table below shows vote margins in general elections and runoffs for the two offices, along with percentage changes in turnout and changes in vote margins between the two elections. Data for 1992 and 2008 elections come from FiveThirtyEight, and official results for 2020 come from the Georgia Secretary of State office.