Senate control in Georgia on Friday was balanced as Republican Senator David Perdue fell short of the majority needed to win re-election, setting the stage for a second January runoff in a rapidly changing state.
With the Senate narrow division between Republicans and Democrats, the twin rematches scheduled just two weeks before the opening day were Joseph R. Win the White House the way the House did.
Faced with such an extraordinarily high stake, both parties quickly set themselves up for a nine-week, year-end sprint that would cost another $ 100 million and a referendum on the presidential election results. The runoffs promised to push the once-growing Georgia into the country’s political arena and test the growing strength of the Democrats, once a Republican stronghold in the Deep South.
Georgia’s special Senate election is set for a runoff from Tuesday, with the Democrat, Rev. Fr. Dr. Rafael Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loughfler are the first two votes cast in the congestion field running for the position of retired senator. Johnny Isaacson.
Republicans felt that such a second contest could be stopped in the case of Mr. Perdue. By the time his race was called for Friday night after a lengthy count, Perdue had a razor-thin lead over his Democratic challenger Joan Ossaf and no candidate had won more votes to avoid re-election under Georgia law.
Two more Senate races, In North Carolina and Alaska, not yet called Friday night. But Republicans are ahead in both and are expected to win, ranking Democrats 50 out of 48 seats.
If Democrats take Georgia’s two seats, they will tie the Senate 50-50, effectively taking over the chamber if Mr. Biden wins the presidency, and the vice president will be empowered to cast tiebreaking votes. This is a long process in a state with deep traditional roots, and it is reasonably believed that Republicans can hang on to any of the seats needed to reject a majority for Democrats, especially if the vote falls in January.
For Democrats, who have struggled in the past to turn voters into runoffs, this is a bank shot attempt to usurp total control over Washington after the congressional election disappointed. In Washington, Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a private call to Democratic lawmakers in a private call on Thursday, saying there was a risk of ignoring their messages in weeks or distancing swing voters in Georgia.
If Mr Biden wins, as is most likely Friday, Republicans will be motivated to reject him by a majority, creating considerable power to shape the first two years of his term and to thwart liberal aspirations. A super PAC affiliate with the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List on Thursday pledged to spend $ 4 million for Mr. Perdue and Mrs. Lofler.
Regardless of the end result, the runoffs are a clear sign of the growing power of Democrats in Georgia. After many years of speculation, the mobilization of black voters by educated whites in the Atlanta suburbs and moves toward Democrats suggest that Georgia’s status as a true battlefield state may have finally come.
“Change has come to Georgia,” Mr Ossaf said at a rally on Friday, “and Georgia is part of the change coming to America.”
Mr Perdue’s campaign made it clear immediately that he was trying to nationalize the race, saying the vote for Mr Ossaf was a “vote to hand over power to Chuck Schumer and the radical Democrats in Washington.” While Republicans are ready to address the grievances of President Trump’s most ardent supporters, he believes the president’s fraudulent arguments and setbacks to his loss could boost victory in January.
With Mr. Trump defying the election results, it is hard to imagine how far he will run in the Senate race. But on Friday morning, He mentioned the Democrats in a tweet They are still trying to gain power through evil means to overthrow Republican policies.
“Pack and rotate Wood and the Filibuster, ‘Life’, 2A, and the court. The presidency is more important, ”he wrote. “We will win!”
Ms. Loffler moved the president to court, repeatedly tweeting in support of him and donating for his benefit.
“Pray for another four years of RerealDonaldTrump!” She wrote in a tweet.
For all national highlights, the race could be a decisive moment for Georgia, the war between the New South that Atlanta represents and its increasingly diverse suburbs and the dominance of rural and business conservatives.
Mr. Perdue, 70, is the former chief executive of Reebok and Dollar General He defeated his Democratic opponent in 2014 by eight points, Was initially thought to be an easy road to re-election.
He was weighed down by voter dissatisfaction over Mr Trump’s coronavirus response and through his own myths. He faced anti-Semitic charges After running Mr. Ossaf’s nose-widening Facebook ad, Who is Jewish, his campaign was blamed on a seller. He worked so hard to continue Mr. Ossaf’s excellent fundraising that Mr. Perdue publicly exploded in mid-October Senator Kamala Harris’ first name mocked, Democrat nominee to his colleague and vice president in the Senate for nearly four years.
“Kah-mah-la or kh-mah-la or kamboomala – I don’t know,” he said at a rally for Mr. Trump in Macon, Ga. Ms. Harris, a black woman of Indian and Jamaican descent, said Mr Perdue’s campaign had “mispronounced” his first name. Mr Osaf called it a “threat” and said it was not racially sensitive.
As In his 2014 The race, Mr. Perdue Washington ran as an outsider, campaigned in a denim jacket rather than the expensive tailored suits he wore in the Senate. It’s hard to give his six-year record there this time around. But he continued his campaign by linking it to another one-time outsider, Mr. Trump.
Mr. Perdue hit Mr. Ossaf hard on the state, distorting Democrat positions on policing, health care and many other issues in an attempt to intimidate moderate voters to his side. He praised Republicans’ tax and regulatory cuts, as well as popular programs approved by Congress to help unemployed Americans and small businesses climate the epidemic.
In a good signal to Republicans that they have reached the runoff, Mr Perdue overtook Mr Trump in Tuesday’s vote and Mr Osaf pushed Mr Biden back.
Mr Ossaf, 33, tried to portray Georgia as failing special interests during the crisis and endangering public health by forcing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Citing reports that Mr Perdue was trading stocks at the start of the epidemic, he accused Mr Ossaf of being more interested in his own financial success than Senator Georgian.
“Retirement is coming for Senator David Perdue,” Mr Osaf said Friday. “A senator worthy of continuing to attack our health care in the midst of an epidemic. A senator who told us that this disease, which has claimed a quarter of a million lives, is no more deadly than the common flu, he took care of himself.”
The special elections followed a similar course in theme, but two different candidates broke up with each other. Dr. Warnock, 51, Who was the front runner-up after Tuesday’s vote? Ebenezer is pastor of the Baptist ChurchRev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once led.
Mrs. Loffler, 49, is a businessman and wealthy member of the Senate. She overcame a tough challenge from fellow Republican spokesman Doug Collins. She has racked up over $ 20 million in her own fortune and has the backing of the state Republican governor and Senate Republicans’ campaign tools, believing Ms Lofler’s record as a businesswoman could win back independent suburban voters, especially women.
The struggle to raise Mr. Collins’ hand became bitter and personal, leading Mrs. Loffler to the far right. She sought the support of QAnon conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Green She won a House seat in Georgia on Tuesday, and took other positions that were the hardest to walk back in January, even as she tried to reverse the campaign for her success as a businessman and her record-breaking victory in the coronavirus crisis.
By Thursday, she had already begun attacking Dr. Warnock, Gives a glimpse of the playbook Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. tries to mine his message over the years on pulpit and liberal policy positions to portray him as a pastor in the mold. Former President Barack Obama Former Pastor, His “God Damon America” speech was used to attack the former president.
But Republicans are starting late. Ms. Loffler, who spent most of the year capturing Mr. Collins and introducing Dr. Warnock to voters with completely positive words as pastor and healer, was not much touched.
Backing up the barrage, Dr. Warnock used his first statement, Runoff, a spoof of the campaign-style attack statement released Thursday, to try to get major voters for what was ahead.
“Be prepared, Georgia, negative statements are coming,” he said. “Kelly Lofler Why does she not want to talk about getting rid of health care in the midst of an epidemic, so she’s going to scare you with lies about me.”