Since their November 8th Midterm election Senate race, the polling data between (R) Herschel Walker and (D) Raphael Warnock have maintained a razor-thin margin. Currently, Real Clear Politics has Walker up an average of 1.4 points. However, record high levels of early voting prior to the December 6th runoff election may not be in Walker’s favor, as Axios reports that 70,000 Georgians have cast a vote over 30 counties.
The December 6th runoff election was sparked due to 80,000+ votes for the Libertarian party candidate, Chase Oliver, who received over 2% of the total vote on November 8th. While early voting has started, Oliver will not be on the ticket for the run-off election, and Libertarians have a tendency to fall in line closer to Republicans than they do Democrats. Without Oliver on the ticket, many assumed that Republican and Libertarian leaning voters should close the gap between Walker and Warnock, however, the 70,000 early voters add another large question mark.
Early voting typically favors Democrats, and Republicans tend to have a better turnout on the actual election day. Axios goes on to report that Warnock and Democratic groups won a battle last week over the legality of an extra day of early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, giving an indication of how Warnock and Democrats in all likelihood believe that extended early voting with a large turn out may assist them in getting a Senate majority with a Warnock win.
Republicans will need to close the gap that has likely been created by early voting on voting day, December 6.