Voters cast their ballots in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections at a Fulton County polling station in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 5, 2021. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Once again, America waits for pivotal election returns, and once again, it’s unknown just how long that wait will be. 

Georgia’s runoff for both its Senate seats, an election that will determine which party controls that legislative body, ends at 7 p.m. Eastern. The first and largest batch of votes should be released then, as nearly three-quarters of voters, or 3 million, cast their ballots early. That led to some optimism from David Worley on the State Election Board, who said, “I would think we would have a pretty good idea” who won by 1 a.m. Wednesday despite the record-setting turnout. If you’re already grabbing popcorn and coffee, others aren’t quite that optimistic. 

Senate Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are hoping to defend their seats against the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, a documentary film executive, respectively. Both Ossoff and Warnock must win in order for Democrats to take control of the Senate. 

The race should be close — it’s a runoff, after all, triggered by the fact that state law requires one candidate to receive more than 50 percent of the vote, something neither race achieved in November. Opinions differed on which party had the edge. Some believed that more Republicans would turn out because many are angry over the baseless claims made by President Donald Trump that the election was rigged. Others showed polls that gave Warnock and Ossoff a slight edge, albeit with some trepidation over the accuracy of polls. Democrats were hopeful that Loeffler’s attacks on Warnock, including ads that darkened the Black man’s skin color, were working against her. 

The surest thing in this election? There won’t be a third runoff: The only way that happens is if the candidates get exactly the same number of votes. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

In Their Words: Georgians on Voting in an Age of Mistrust – Politico – 1/5/2021
But as photographer Jonathan Frydman found on a recent tour of the state, many Georgians don’t feel they have any say in the election at all.Packing a camera, pen and a stack of blank index cards, Frydman drove through towns and suburbs, approaching subjects at random in gathering spots like parking lots and Walmarts. 

Hollywood Celebs Make Final Plea for Georgia – Breitbart – 1/5/2021
As Georgia voters head to the polls today, Hollywood elites are still making the hard sell for Democrats, urging residents to cast their ballots for candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, thereby ensuring party domination over Congress.

Why it’s very likely that one party sweeps the Georgia runoffs – CNN – 1/5/2021
So, what’s going to happen? For answers about that — and how the two runoffs have played out — I reached out to star Atlanta Journal-Constitution political reporter Greg Bluestein, who has covered every inch of these races.

What Do Polls Of The Georgia Senate Runoffs Actually Tell Us? – HuffPost – 1/5/2021
For a high-stakes, closely watched set of campaigns, the Georgia Senate runoffs have been the subject of relatively little publicly released polling. After election polls in November again substantially underestimated the GOP’s performance across a number of key states, many pollsters are still drilling down on what, exactly, went wrong last year.

This Pollster Thinks GOP Opposition to $2,000 COVID Checks May Cost Republicans the Senate – National Review – 1/5/2021
For much of December, Trafalgar showed Republicans consistently trending up in the red-leaning state. […] But Trafalgar’s subsequent poll, conducted from December 23 to December 27, showed a dramatic shift, with both Democrats taking a narrow lead. Cahaly said the only explanation he could summon for the abrupt shift was President Trump’s call on December 22 to increase COVID relief checks from $600 to $2,000 — defying his own hand-picked negotiators with a plan quickly endorsed by Democrats.

Georgia officials rebutted Trump’s claim that Dominion voting machines failed in ‘Republican strongholds.’ – New York Times – 1/5/2021
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger shot down President Trump’s suggestion Tuesday that a voting machine snafu in a conservative county near Augusta had compromised Republican votes in the Senate runoff elections.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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