US Senate Runoffs: What Exit Polls Are Telling Us About Voters In Georgia

Georgians Go To The Polls In Critical Senate Runoff Election

Election night in Georgia is here. The two runoff elections for seats in the US Senate will determine party control for the incoming presidential administration of Joe Biden.  

Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock face off against Republican incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler

The runoff races have garnered national attention following November’s historic General Election. The Peach State became a battleground state and ultimately awarded its 16 electoral votes to Biden. Though incumbent President Donald Trump lost his seat, Republicans are looking to maintain their majority in the Senate. 

If both Ossoff and Warnock win, Democrats will have a majority and presumably help pass legislation of Biden’s administration. Republicans need just one victory in today’s races to maintain control.

More than three million voters cast their ballots during the early voting period. State election officials say a final tally of today's races won't be known until polls close and the last ballots counted and reported, though estimates of four million voters have swirled among correspondents.

What The Polls Are Saying So Far

In the final hours of voting in Georgia, early exit poll data reported by CNN indicates voters came out in record numbers to make their voice heard on issues the nation faces.

On the coronavirus pandemic, 52% of voters surveyed said containing the virus is more important, while 42% of voters prioritized rebuilding the economy. 

Thirty-nine percent of voters said the pandemic causes “mild financial hardship,” while 15% said they have seen significant or severe financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. 

Along party lines, eight out of 10 Democrats said they would prioritize containing the coronavirus, while two-thirds of Republicans prefer the rebuilding of the economy be prioritized by leaders.  

Fifty-six percent of voters in the first round of surveys said the 2020 election was “conducted fairly.” Forty-one percent said it wasn’t. 

Among white voters, 57% said the 2020 presidential election was not conducted fairly, 40% said it was. Eighty-eight percent of Black voters surveyed it was conducted fairly, while 9% said it wasn't conducted fairly.

Black voters have a greater confidence in the tabulation of their votes. Ninety-three percent of Black voters reporting they believe their ballots would be counted, with 5% expressing a lack of confidence.

Across age, voters aged 65 and older split 62% to Perdue compared to 38% to Ossoff. Among younger voters aged 18-29, Ossoff earned 67% of their votes. In November, there were fewer older voters in the state's electorate, which CNN reports flipped during the January runoffs. Turnout among younger voters saw a dip across the electorate surveyed in the news outlet's exit polls.

Georgia was the site of three recounts following November’s election, one of which was conducted by hand. In recent days, Trump has eyed the state in final attempts to overturn election results from November 3. 

CNN’s exit polls surveyed 5,260 voters on election day at local election precincts and via phone. 

This article will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Photo: Getty Images

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