Georgia Special Election Audience Analysis

Georgia Special Election Audience Analysis

It feels like all eyes are on the election this week between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel for a Congressional seat in Georgia. The race is really heating up, and has been the subject of intense scrutiny by political talking heads on cable news.

We were curious if Hitwise data could add some insight to the tight race, so, we ran a few reports to see if there were any interesting search and audience differences within Georgia’s districts in the lead up to the election.

News Consumption

Even though the election is for the sixth congressional district, which is part of Atlanta, we looked at seven of Georgia’s key DMAs (District Metering Areas): Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Savannah, and Tallahassee, to see differences in news consumption.

We found that for the 4 weeks ending June 10, visits to FoxNews.com over-indexed for all Georgia DMA’s except for Atlanta, but visits to MSNBC.com over-indexed in Augusta and Macon. Interestingly, visits to CNN.com under-indexed for all Georgia DMAs.

Search & Audience Patterns

We also found online searches for the candidates indexed high in all DMAs, with a couple exceptions. Searches for “Karen Handel” under-index in Albany and Macon, and searches for “Jon Ossoff” under-index in Augusta.

In terms of political leanings, all of Georgia’s DMAs over-index as Very or Somewhat Conservative, but Augusta over-indexed as being Somewhat Liberal.

Conclusion

So what does this tell us? It confirms that Georgia is overall a Republican leaning state, but a few areas stand out. Specifically, Augusta.

Augusta is the only DMA that over-indexed as Somewhat Liberal, and also over-indexed for visiting MSNBC.com. Interestingly, though, they under-indexed for Jon Ossoff-related searches. This could signify that this more liberal-leaning district has already formed opinions on the Democratic candidate.

It was also curious that for those in Georgia that are interested in a more liberal news source, MSNBC.com is their choice, in spite of CNN being a larger brand.

Atlanta, where the election will be held, is the only DMA that did not over-index for any particular news website.

As the election draws near, it will be interesting to keep an eye on the changing political demographics and leanings of Georgians, as well as the rest of America.