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As Georgia Votes, Both Races Look Like Toss-Ups

Republicans count on big turnout in Senate runoffs
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2021 12:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Republicans will probably need a large Election Day turnout to win the Senate runoffs in Georgia, according to the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. The site still considers both races toss-ups. Election Day turnout over 4 million would bode well for Republicans, allowing them to erase any deficit they start the day with, while turnout below that would leave Democrats in good shape. That's a rough estimate, the center concedes, pointing out that polls haven't shown either party leading. About 3 million votes had been cast before Election Day, and one indicator favoring Democrats is that the share of Black people who voted early is higher than it was for the Nov. 3 election. That 3 million is already a strong turnout; 2.1 million people voted in Georgia's last Senate runoff, in 2008.

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President-elect Biden isn't counting on Democratic victories, Politico reports. Although Biden defeated President Trump in Georgia, the GOP Senate candidates outpolled the Democrats. Because control of the Senate depends on the outcomes, Biden's team is working up plans for his first 100 days in office for every contingency. The new president could think much bigger if he's working with a Democratic Senate. The runoffs pit Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. "There’s growing hope on our side because Trump has done literally everything he could to sabotage Perdue and Loeffler," a Democratic House aide said, including pressing Georgia election officials to "find 11,780 votes" to give him a belated victory. (Trump has already called the Georgia runoffs "illegal and invalid.")

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