Georgians Didn’t Split Their Vote

The two races are almost identical.

Given both the results in the November general election and the differences in campaigns and personalities, there was serious speculation that Democrat Raphael Warnock might defeat Kelly Loeffler while Republican David Perdue held off the challenge from Jon Ossoff. With the votes almost completely tallied, however, it’s clear that not only did the Democrats both win but that just about everyone who voted did so along party lines:

If these margins stand, Warnock will indeed have outperformed Ossoff and Perdue outpolled Loeffler. But by tiny, tiny margins. The raw totals are identical through the 100,000’s place and the percentages identical to the whole number.

Relatedly: I have no idea why the race was called for Warnock so early and yet they’re holding off on Ossoff. The totals are damn near identical.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Relatedly: I have no idea why the race was called for Warnock so early and yet they’re holding off on Ossoff. The totals are damn near identical.

    Actually (if you will pardon the word), Warnock’s margin is three times Ossoff’s (1.2 percentage points v. 0.4). And the margin for a recount is, IIRC, .5 in GA. Hence, the lack of a call for Ossoff.

    The odds are, that Ossoff will win, however, even after the military ballots come in and if there is a recount (or two!).

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  2. But your broad point stands: almost identical. And the operative theory would be that appointed incumbents are historically weaker than elected incumbents.

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  3. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Sure–but we’re talking a few thousand votes in contests with 4.3+ million votes.

    @Steven L. Taylor: Yes. Perdue’s grift can’t have helped but he’s a better natural politician than Loeffler. But it barely mattered here; the difference is barely a rounding error.

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  4. PJ says:

    When AP called it for Warnock, his lead was bigger than 0.5%, and at that time Ossoff was even near a lead of 0.5%, …not even sure if he was in the lead at that time.

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  5. Gustopher says:

    Looking at the county-by-county results, it looks like Ossoff does better in red areas than Warnock, but not as well in blue areas.

    So, a fair number did split their votes, and I can see it making it harder to call the election.

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  6. SKI says:

    @James Joyner:

    Sure–but we’re talking a few thousand votes in contests with 4.3+ million votes.

    But that lead is considered in relation to the amount and location of the outstanding vote – and, as Stevennoted, in relation to the 0.5% recount threshold.

    And it is tens of thousands, not a few thousands. Warnock is up 55,000+ while Ossoff is less than 18,000. That disparity of almost 40,000 votes in margin makes a material difference in an election were the recount threshold equates to less than 25,000 votes (0.5% of 4.5 Million = 22,500)

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  7. becca says:

    Capitol in lockdown. Trump called out the dogs. This is insane.

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  8. An Interested Party says:

    Looking at the county-by-county results, it looks like Ossoff does better in red areas than Warnock, but not as well in blue areas.

    And I do wonder why that was the case…hmmmmm…

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  9. mattbernius says:

    I also wonder the degree to which differences are less because of split ballots than voting for only one candidate.

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  10. Kylopod says:

    @mattbernius:

    I also wonder the degree to which differences are less because of split ballots than voting for only one candidate.

    This was similar to a point I made a couple of days ago when talking about the election in November. I noticed that Biden won nearly 100,000 more votes than Ossoff, but Perdue only won 764 more votes than Trump–suggesting there weren’t very many Biden-Perdue crossover votes, just a lot of people who voted for Biden then didn’t bother to cast any votes downballot.

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