What Polls Say About David Perdue and Jon Ossoff 2 Weeks Before the Georgia Election

Senator David Perdue and Jon Ossoff are headed for a close election, although polls have shifted in the incumbent senator's favor in recent days.

Mail-in and early in-person voting for the Georgia runoff election has already begun and there's just about two weeks until Election Day. With control of the Senate on the line, Democrats and Republicans have a vested interest in the outcome of the race between Perdue and Ossoff and Georgians have already cast about 500,000 ballots.

On average, Perdue has a .8 point lead over his Democratic challenger, according to FiveThirtyEight, a margin that makes for a statistical tie. The most recent poll came out on Thursday from Emerson College and gave Perdue a 3 point advantage, a lead that's within the poll's margin of error.

Of the 600 people polled, 51 percent said they were going to vote for Perdue and 48 percent were planning on supporting Ossoff. Democrats have the lead among younger voters and Republicans have an advantage with those over the age of 45.

Given that there are a limited number of voters who plan to cast votes for a Republican in one race and a Democrat in another, Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson College Polling, suspected one party would win both seats.

If Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock, who is challenging Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler for her seat in a runoff election, oust the two Republicans from office, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate. This effectively gives Democrats control because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast any necessary tie-breaking votes.

david perdue jon ossoff election polls
Senator David Perdue has a slight edge over Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff but the race is still too close to call. Perdue addresses the crowd during a campaign rally at Peachtree Dekalb Airport on Monday in Atlanta, Georgia. Jessica McGowan/Getty

President-elect Joe Biden benefitted from mail-in voting and it turned the tide of the election in his favor. President Donald Trump largely dissuaded voters from casting their ballots by mail, but this time around, the president and vice president have pushed Georgians to vote by any available method.

Emerson's poll found 61 percent of people who already voted went for Ossoff and 39 percent cast ballots for Perdue. However, 68 percent of those polled who plan to vote on January 5 are planning on casting ballots for Perdue.

One of the top priorities for voters in the Georgia election is the COVID-19 response and in that area, Ossoff leads among voters. The Democratic candidate has been a vocal advocate for a second round of stimulus checks and has hit Perdue for not having the same level of enthusiasm about the measure.

Perdue voted in favor of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March, but said he opposed direct payments on a personal level.

In November, Perdue received about 80,000 more votes than Ossoff, but because he fell short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win an election in Georgia, it forced the race into a runoff. Although he had the advantage in November, nothing is guaranteed come January and pollsters expect the race to come down to the wire.