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Inside Sources: Looking ahead to the Senate runoff races in Georgia

FILE: President Donald Trump participates in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

SALT LAKE CITY — With President Donald Trump heading to Georgia on Saturday to campaign alongside the two Republican US Senate candidates in a runoff race in the state, a national pollster is unsure what effect the president’s continued attacks on Republican state officials and the state’s election system will have on the dual races.

The pair of runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5 will determine which party controls the US Senate. If the Democrat candidates win both races, the Senate will be evenly split 50-50 — with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking majority vote. The two races feature contests between:

  • Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff
  • And Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock.

An expert’s analysis

Scott Rasmussen, an American political analyst, joined Boyd Matheson, opinion editor for the Deseret News and the host of Inside Sources, to talk about the Georgia races.

Rasmussen polled Georgians about the dual races. This is what he found:

In Georgia, 46% of voters say they want Republicans in control of the US Senate while 42% say they want Democrats in control  and 7% said it doesn’t make much difference.

After that, pollsters asked Georgia voters: What is it that will make you vote?

Only a small number of respondents mentioned control of the Senate as their primary motivation to vote, Rasmussen said.

Civic pollution in the Georgia races

Boyd noted that more than $300 million in political ads have been purchased already in Georgia.

georgia senate races

FILE- In this July 15, 2020, file photo Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., puts on a face mask as she walks with Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., right, at UPS Hapeville Airport Hub in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

“They’re not going to see or hear much of anything else down there in Georgia,” Boyd said.

“It’s just going to be a horrible time to be bombarded with all — what I think sometimes constitutes civic pollution — all the ads that are to be going down there,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen said Georgia voters who are not partisan and not aligned with either of the two major parties are saying they just want politics to be over  and “they are tuning out a little bit more.”

Accusations muddy the waters

According to Rasmussen, he didn’t know how the races will turn out after Georgia Republican officials rebuffed President Donald Trump’s calls to overturn the state’s presidential election results more than a week after they certified President-elect Joe Biden as the winner.

Biden won the state with more than 12,000 votes.

Mr. Trump on Monday blasted Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as “hapless” for not intervening to “overrule” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s certification of Biden’s win, according to the Associated Press.

Attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell recently told a gathering of the president’s supporters in Alpharetta, Ga., to stay at home for the Jan. 5 elections, saying his supporters shouldn’t take part in another “rigged election.” 

“This is Georgia. We ain’t dumb. We’re not going to vote on Jan. 5 on another machine made by China. You’re not going to fool Georgians again. If Kelly Loeffler wants your vote, if David Perdue wants your vote, they’ve got to earn it,” said Wood, who unsuccessfully sued Georgia trying to stop the presidential election’s certification according to USA TODAY.

“That’s going to be a very interesting needle to thread for both of the Republican candidates there,” said Boyd. “Both of the Democratic candidates are on message and moving forward.”


The polling industry’s biggest problem? Not speaking the language of the American voter


Listen to Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson weekdays from 11:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.