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Ossoff touts internal poll showing him in dead heat in Georgia Senate race

Ossoff touts internal poll showing him in dead heat in Georgia Senate race
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Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueGeorgia's top election official looks to shake political drama Lobbying world JPMorgan Chase CEO speaks out to defend voting rights in response to Georgia law MORE (R-Ga.) and Democrat Jon OssoffJon OssoffBiden praises settlement in dispute between electric vehicle battery makers Memo to millennials: Don't be mad at us Group launches M campaign against legislators who back 'suppression of voting rights' MORE are in dead heat in Georgia's Senate race, according to an internal poll released Wednesday by Ossoff’s campaign.

The survey, conducted by the Democratic polling firm Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, showed Ossoff garnering 45 percent of the vote to Perdue’s 44 percent, putting the two candidates in a statistical tie. 

But Ossoff still has room to grow his name recognition. According to the poll, only about 64 percent of the electorate currently recognizes Ossoff compared to about 85 percent who are familiar with Perdue. Among voters who said they know of both candidates, Ossoff held a wider 55-39 percent lead over Perdue. 

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“Because Ossoff currently has a name ID deficit with the incumbent, his lead is larger among Georgia voters who know both candidates – an encouraging sign as Ossoff will increase his profile,” Fred Yang, the principal of Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, wrote in a memo to Ossoff’s campaign. 

The poll also showed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan The business case for child care reform MORE opening up a 4-point lead over President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE in Georgia in the race for the White House, with the presumptive Democratic nominee garnering 47 percent of the vote to Trump’s 43 percent.

The poll's findings are based on interviews with 800 likely voters in Georgia conducted from July 9-15. It has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.

Ossoff’s campaign touted the internal poll Wednesday as “another sign of sinking Republican fortunes in Georgia.” Democrats are increasingly optimistic about their prospects in the state, which has emerged as a new battleground in the presidential race. 

At the same time, Georgia has opened up as a new front in the battle for the Senate. Even before the internal poll released Wednesday, surveys suggested a tight race between Perdue and Ossoff. A Fox News poll from June showed Perdue with a 3-point lead over his Democratic opponent. 

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Also fueling Democrats’ optimism in the state is Ossoff’s lead over Perdue in second-quarter fundraising. His campaign pulled in $3.9 million in the period between April 1 and June 30, beating out Perdue by about $1.7 million.

Republicans dismissed the poll from Ossoff’s campaign, suggesting that the findings were out of step with reality. 

“Ossoff’s internal polling is about as accurate as his embellished resume,” Paige Lindgren, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), said. “He’s a habitual liar who relies on Hollywood donors to bankroll his campaign in exchange for him supporting their liberal agenda.”

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning Democrats will have to pick up at least three or four seats, depending on which party wins control of the White House, to capture control of the chamber. 

So far, Democrats’ path to the majority has focused on other states with vulnerable GOP incumbents, including Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina. But a handful of states have come into play in recent months, including Montana, Iowa and Georgia. 

John Burke, the communications director for Perdue, said the campaign always anticipated a competitive race, but remained confident that the first-term senator would ultimately win reelection in November.

“Our campaign will not ride the pollercoaster,” Burke said in a statement to The Hill. “From day one, we've known that this race will be among the most competitive races in the country and may determine who controls the United States Senate. Sen. Perdue's number one priority continues to be getting results for families across our state.”

“We are confident that Georgians will re-elect him and reject the Democrats' socialist agenda in November.” he added.