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A banner for U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler hangs from an old Army truck in Madison, Ga., on Saturday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Democratic and Republican Senate candidates in Georgia are in a statistical tie heading into Tuesday's pair of runoff elections, according to a new poll conducted for a Republican super PAC.

Why it matters: In both elections, Democrats pulled ahead in early voting, putting pressure on Republicans to increase their turnout on Election Day to catch up. The tie poll suggests a jump ball in the races between Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

By the numbers: The Preserve America poll, conducted by Adam Geller, surveyed 500 likely voters over the weekend and included both cellphones and landlines. The survey had a margin of error of ±4.38 percentage points.

  • Perdue had 45% of the vote to Ossoff's 46%.
  • Loeffler also had 45% to Warnock's 46%.

The intrigue: The poll cast in stark relief how Democrats have banked early support: Some 54% of respondents said they had already returned their ballots.

  • Among early voters, Ossoff was up in his race over Perdue 54%-36%; and Warnock led Loeffler by a 54%-37% margin.
  • Among those who haven't voted, Perdue led 56%-38%; Loeffler had a 55%-36% advantage.
  • Turnout will be key in determining the winners and the resulting balance of power in the U.S. Senate.

Be smart: Half of the poll was conducted after the revelations on Sunday afternoon that President Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and asked him to "find" enough ballots to declare him the winner in November's election.

Go deeper

Chuck Schumer is now majority leader as 3 new Democratic senators are sworn in

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is officially Senate majority leader after the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris and the swearing-in of new Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

Why it matters: With a 50-50 Senate, Schumer will control a narrow majority with Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Democratic control of the Senate is crucial to President Biden's agenda, from getting his coronavirus relief proposal passed to forgiving student debt.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Jan 19, 2021 - World

Europeans have high hopes for Joe Biden

Data: Pew Research Center; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration will be greeted with enthusiasm in Europe, with three new polls making clear that most Europeans can't wait to bid Donald Trump adieu.

The big picture: Europeans generally expect brighter days ahead under Biden, according to the polls, but his election has not fully assuaged doubts about U.S. democracy and global leadership.

Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as FBI director

FBI Director Christopher Wray at a virtual DOJ news briefing on Oct. 28. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI, CNN first reported and an administration official confirmed to Axios.

The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.