Two months after the presidential election, Georgia voters will run two runoff elections Tuesday to decide which party controls the Senate and how much President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. can achieve in his first two years in the White House.
Due to a planned coincidence and the resignation of Republican Senator Johnny Isakson in 2019, both Georgia Senate seats were on the 2020 ballot. If Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff, a documentary manager, and Rev. Raphael Warnock, a minister, win, the Democrats will win Rule the Senate with a single vote. If one of the Republican incumbents, Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, prevails, the Republicans will retain their Senate majority.
Under Georgian law, candidates must receive at least 50 percent of the vote to be declared a winner – a holdover from the policy of segregation designed to prevent black candidates from sneaking through a crowded field of white opponents.
Neither of the state’s Senate races reached that threshold in November, forcing both to run off in runoffs. Mr. Perdue faces Mr. Ossoff in a regular contest, and Ms. Loeffler, who was named Mr. Isakson’s seat in December 2019, vies against Mr. Warnock, who heads the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta special election.
Around three million voters have already cast their votes in the races. We make sure that more voters vote on election day.
Both Jon Ossoff and David Perdue want to nationalize their competition.
Perdue perhaps no Republican in Congress has more fully co-opted Trump’s political ethos than Mr. Perdue, a former corporate executive who made millions of dollars offloading American jobs overseas and has now fully overtaken President Trump’s America First message.
And few Democrats are as representative of the party’s resistance in the Trump-era as Mr Ossoff, a 33-year-old with a short résumé who has proven himself a strong candidate and capable fundraiser by emphasizing his commitment to a standard multicultural issue progressive agenda.
Every man has tried to nationalize the campaign operations. Mr. Ossoff has fought with former President Barack Obama, Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Mr Perdue has pledged to “fight for Trump” and called on Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign after Mr Biden won the state.
Both candidates have framed the race in terms of its national impact, with Mr Ossoff arguing that Mr Biden can only pass his legislative agenda if Georgia elects Democratic senators – starting with the increase in the economic reviews from $ 600 to $ 2,000. Mr. Perdue has said that he and Mrs. Loeffler are the last bulwarks against a liberal takeover of Washington.
In November, of around 4.95 million votes cast, Mr Perdue won around 88,000 more votes than Mr Ossoff. The general vote does not carry over to the runoff, however, and there is some evidence in the early voting period data that Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans.
Kelly Loeffler and Raphael Warnock are political newbies with very different styles.
Ms. Loeffler, a wealthy businesswoman and political newcomer, was Governor Brian Kemp’s controversial decision to stand up for Mr. Isakson last year.
Conservative Republicans, like Mr. Trump, had supported another candidate. As if they both wanted to prove otherwise, Ms. Loeffler has committed herself to a conservative platform and has become one of the president’s most determined loyalists.
During one year in office, she did not become particularly popular with Georgians. In a field of 20 candidates in the November election, she received just 26 percent of the vote.
She has spent much of the past eight weeks in assault mode against Mr. Warnock, claiming he serves as a “stamp” for socialism while standing as a bulwark for maintaining American democracy. But on Monday night, she joined Mr. Trump’s drive to reverse the election results and announced that she would vote against the confirmation of Mr. Biden’s victory on the electoral college.
She made the announcement after the end of the early parliamentary term – which Democrats were likely to have dominated – and on the eve of Election Day and a rally with Mr. Trump as she tried to increase Republican turnout.
Mr. Warnock also never ran for public office, but was politically active as a voting rights advocate.
As a seasoned public speaker, Mr. Warnock’s campaign speech resembles a Sunday morning service. Shying away from direct attacks on his opponent, he instead emphasizes his childhood on a Savannah housing project and the influence of his hard-working father.
One exception is the Warnock campaign advertisement, which focused on the swirling controversy surrounding Ms. Loeffler’s trading in millions of dollars worth of stocks last year in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The Justice Department conducted an investigation into whether Ms. Loeffler traded inside information gathered during a briefing on the coronavirus in the Senate last January. However, investigators told her in May that the government would not bring charges.
These are the two most expensive Senate races of all time.
The twins competitions in Georgia have wiped out previous Senate race spending records, even after a year in which most previous grades had already fallen.
The Perdue-Ossoff race, including pre-runoff expenses, is the most expensive ever at nearly $ 470 million Center for Responsive Politics. Second place goes to the Loeffler-Warnock competition, which has so far spent more than $ 362 million. And both sums will go up when the final spending numbers are reported.
In some ways, only one Senate race before 2020 had ever exceeded $ 200 million.
The spending has seen waves and waves of negative publicity over the past few weeks, with Republicans seeing both Democrats, and Mr Warnock in particular, as “radical” and too liberal for Georgia. The Democrats have labeled the incumbents as touchless senators who have traded their positions to increase their personal wealth while ignoring the needs of Georgians.
Nearly $ 500 million in advertising was served in the runoff election alone, which is largely negative, according to AdImpact, which tracks television and digital purchases. There are so many issues that the campaigns are buying tens of millions of dollars in ads in the media markets of neighboring countries that spill over to Georgia.
The Democratic candidates themselves have outsmarted the Republican incumbents. Each Democrat raised more than $ 100 million from mid-October through mid-December. But a flood of money into conservative super-PACs has resulted in Republicans getting the Democrats on the air above anything else, though part of that benefit is offset by the fact that television stations can charge higher prices for advertising super-PACs.
One thing is certain: this election will break voter turnout.
Even before the elections begin on Election Day, these high-stakes races have generated unprecedented interest.
More than three million people have already voted, both in postal votes and in places with early voting across the state. This breaks the record for a runoff election in the Georgia Senate, which was set in 2008 with 2.1 million votes.
Early turnout data suggests high turnout from black voters, who make up a large part of Georgia’s democratic electorate – a good sign for the party. A website This shows that 31 percent of those who have voted so far are black.
Another positive sign for Democrats is that 100,000 postal ballot papers have been requested from voters who did not vote in the November election. Many of them are believed to have recently signed up to vote.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean the two Democrats will win. One fact that is good for Republicans is the preference of Republicans in Georgia to vote on election day. Another reason is that Democrats traditionally did not do well in runoff elections in Georgia, which historically appeals to older, whiter, and more Republican voters.
How will President Trump’s key supporters react to an election he believes is illegal?
The Georgia competitions take place 15 days before Mr Biden is sworn in, but Mr Perdue and Ms. Loeffler failed to make their strongest argument – that they and a Senate Republican majority would act as controls on the incoming Democrat president.
Mr Trump’s repeated efforts to scrap the election results – the most recent being a call on Saturday to Mr Raffensperger, Georgia’s foreign minister, asking him to “find” more than 11,000 votes – have compelled incumbents to vote for the president fight rather than legislate in a post-Trump political era.
The right wing’s refusal to recognize Mr Biden’s victory has led to high-level calls for Conservatives to boycott Georgia’s runoff contests and tweets from the president that the runoff system that has been embedded in Georgia’s elections for generations is itself illegal.
What is not known is how many Trump supporters will be so deterred by the president’s defeat and upset by right-wing conspiracy theories that they will abstain from voting in the runoff elections.
Republicans have never lost a nationwide runoff election in modern Georgia, as Democratic voter turnout has traditionally dropped from the general election level. But for the first time, Democrats have a mature and robust turnout, and Republicans are the ones who worry about the excitement of their voters.
At a Monday night rally in Dalton, Georgia, Trump again falsely claimed he had won Georgia and vowed to embark on the primary challenges for seated Republicans in 2022, which he said were the result of his efforts to overthrow Having not been loyal enough The choice.
“I’ll be here in a year and a half,” he said. “And I’ll fight your governor and your insane foreign minister.”