Georgia Senate election update

Update: 70,000 new registered voters from November to December threw my model off.

Modeled party early voting from Targetsmart had the GOP up 47.5% to 45.7%. In line with Albert’s calculations that the Dems could not replicate voter drive in runoffs and Dem donors abandoned both races. 

GOP will be heavy in voting in-person today along with Libertarians swinging to Loeffler and Perdue. Here is a tweet from the Washington Post’s Amy Gardner:

Now, Albert’s calculations suggest the following:

Perdue squeaking out a 1.1% win, and

Loeffler is up by 2.1%

Interestingly, DeKalb county is about 12% down for early in-person and mail-in ballots in this Senate run-off when compared with the November 3rd election. If this is replicated in the rest of the state of Georgia, whilst the GOP turn out figures remain strong, then look for both Perdue and Loeffler to win by 2%+.

How soon will the results be known?  If the results are quite close, as is generally expected, it may take several days, and possibly longer, for the results to be determined.  As was the case with the November Presidential election, legal challenges are conceivable, if the vote margins are particularly narrow, which could further drag out the uncertainty.  And it could take up to a couple of weeks for the state to officially certify the results.

Note that of the two Georgia Senate Republican candidates, the term of one candidate, David Perdue, expired on January 3.  Consequently, his seat will remain vacant until the outcome is determined.  However, the term of the other Republican candidate, Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to fill a vacancy, has not expired. Now, to cover our bases, in what we deem as the unlikely event that the Democrats win both seats:

·         They will not officially have a majority until Vice-President elect Kamala Harris, takes office on January 20.

·         Should Democrats win both races, it will mean that Democrats will be able to control the Senate, since in a 50-50 Senate, Vice President Harris will be able to break ties.  That will make it easier for President-elect Biden to win support for his Cabinet nominations compared with a Republican-controlled Senate.

·         However, the extent to which such an outcome will alter the near-term legislative outlook is less clear.  Democrats will have to negotiate with Senate Republicans under the super-majority rules that apply to most legislation in the Senate and thus, Republicans probably would be able to limit the size of any subsequent fiscal stimulus legislation.

·         It should also be noted that a Dem sweep does not mean Biden can implement whatever he likes. Dem Senators Manchin, Sinema and Kelly will not simply vote for all progressive policies. Furthermore, Loeffler and Kelly both face elections again in 2022, and as such, particularly for Kelly, there are on the ground political realities to consider.

·         Moreover, we continue to doubt that Biden would make tax increases an early priority in the current stressed economic and public health environment, even if the Dems win both Georgia Senate seats.

To re-iterate, we expect the GOP to win both seats.