Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Georgia Senate Runoff: A Polling Projection

Before we get to the projection let's add in the four polls that have been released since FHQ examined the Georgia Senate runoff polls last week.

Georgia Senate Runoff Polls (as of Dec. 2)
Insider Advantage
Public Policy Polling
Research 2000/Daily Kos
Insider Advantage

There just isn't that much breaking news here. Sure the two Insider Advantage polls have Chambliss right on the line of where the incumbent Republican needs to be to win tonight, but the firm has had a tendency to show tight margins dating back to a couple of president polls during the summer. It was the one and two point McCain leads in June and July that put Georgia on the board as a possible battleground state. Am I discounting Insider Advantage? No, but the two Research 2000 polls checked in with six point margins and the two PPP polls out during this runoff campaign gave an extra point to Chambliss from the first to second one.

Altogether, the eight polls released in the four weeks since the general election provide us with a graduated weighted average of just north of 5 points for Chambliss. The current Senator would have 51% of the vote to Martin's 46% if these polls (weighted for when they were released) reflect the outcome later tonight. So, even if Martin was able to sway all the undecideds, the former state rep would come up short in his bid to unseat Chambliss.

And that makes sense when we take into account the early voting trends we've witnessed here over the last couple of weeks. Martin leaned on the Obama-fueled early voting during the general election as well as the presence of Allen Buckley -- the Libertarian candidate -- to pull Chambliss' share of the vote just under where the incumbent needed to be to avoid a runoff. Without the third party presence and without the advantage in early voting, Martin was indeed up against, to borrow a phrase overused during the general election campaign, a headwind. This time, however, it was something of a Republican headwind.

Again, given the polls and an even distribution of the undecideds, Chambliss is projected to win 52.5 to 47.5. The polls and early voting give us two pieces to the puzzle but tonight's results will give us the final piece.

I'll be back with more after 7pm when polls close here in the Peach state.

Recent Posts:
Georgia Senate Runoff: Early Voting (Final Day)

Georgia Senate Runoff: Early Voting (Day 7)

Georgia Senate Runoff: Early Voting (Day 6)


Jack said...

Why does the results page on SOS refer to the race as "United States Senator, Chambliss? It has nothing to do with who led the initial round or who currently leads, as the other race says "Public Service Commission, District 4 - Northern"

Anonymous said...

They have the same thing on the general election results. I suppose it is a more personable way of saying Senate seat. Class Two.

...or you could say that the Secretary of State is a Republican.

They do the same thing in past year's though. The Zell Miller vacancy in 2004 was named the same way. It is based on who holds the seat.

Jack said...

Yeah, because Zell Miller was such a loyal Democrat.

Anonymous said...

He was loyal.

...until the party left him.