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Republicans were more likely than Democrats to swap allegiance when casting their ballots in Tuesday’s runoff elections for two Georgia Senate seats, with political control of Congress hanging in the balance.
Twice as many Republicans voted for Jon Ossoff, one of the Democratic candidates in contention, than Democrats who supported incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue, according to preliminary data from Associated Press VoteCast on Georgia’s special elections. Six percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters backed Ossoff, while 3 percent of Democrats voted for Perdue.
In the contest between Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, 5 percent of right-leaning voters supported Warnock, while 1 percent of Democrats cast their ballot for incumbent Loeffler.
These results echoed what happened nationwide in the U.S. presidential election, where 8 percent of Republicans chose to support President-elect Joe Biden versus their party’s incumbent, President Donald Trump. By comparison, 4 percent of Democrats backed Trump.
READ MORE: 3 voter trends that helped Biden
Since the general election, the Trump campaign has filed failed lawsuits to stop the runoff elections, lambasted Georgia election officials and made unsupported statements denigrating the overall integrity of the state’s election security. One Trump surrogate, attorney Lin Wood, encouraged Republican voters in Georgia to not participate in what he called a “rigged election.” In a Jan. 2 recording first published by the Washington Post, Trump himself told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is a Republican, that he wanted election officials to “find” 11,780 votes to maintain the state as a GOP stronghold.
Laura Santhanam is the Health Reporter and Coordinating Producer for Polling for the PBS NewsHour, where she has also worked as the Data Producer. Follow @LauraSanthanam
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