17:14 GMT23 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Republican candidates running for two open US Senate seats in a runoff election in Georgia, a race that will decide which party controls the upper chamber of the US Congress, hold identical 3-percent leads over their Democratic opponents, an Emerson College poll suggested on Thursday.

    "Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler hold nearly identical 51 percent to 48 percent advantages over Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock," a press release explaining the poll results said.

    Georgia scheduled a runoff vote on January 5 because neither of the state’s two incumbent senators, Perdue or Loeffler, were able to top the 50-percent threshold needed for an outright victory in the November 3 election.

    A demographic breakdown for the Emerson College poll helps explain a political shift in Georgia, from a Republican stronghold to a state now up for grabs by either political party.

    The Democratic base of support reportedly lies with the 18-29 voters, who are breaking for Warnock with 71 percent of the vote, and similarly for Ossoff with 70 percent of the vote. The race tightens among those 30-44, according to Emerson, in which Ossoff leads Perdue 50-47 percent, while Warnock and Loeffler each receive 49 percent, the release suggested.

    Republican advantage surfaces in the first group of older voters, ages 45-64, who backed Perdue in the poll by a 57-42-percent margin, while favoring Loeffler 58-42 percent. Seniors, age 65 and older, give Purdue a 59-41 percent advantage and Loeffler a 58-42 percent edge.

    Democrats must win at least one of the two open seats to control the US Senate in the event of a 50-50 tie, which would then be decided by the vote of the US vice president, in this case Democrat Kamala Harris, as the US Constitution gives the roll of Senate tie-breaker to the #2 top spot in the US government.

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    Democrats, Republicans, US Senate, US
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