GA-Sen A & B: I'm Happy, I'm Well Rested & I'm Ready To Win These Runoffs

Hey everyone! So I needed to take a little break after election day from posting diaries and I think you all know why. First off, I am very happy that my home state of Pennsylvania delivered for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! I was in Cleveland this past weekend heading to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame Museum when I received the good news. Now I am disappointed that we are currently coming up short in retaking the U.S. Senate. I’ll be interested in delving more into that but neither Cal Cunningham (D. NC) or Dr. Al Gross’ (I. AK) races have been called yet. And as Georgia enters recount territory with Biden on his way to winning the state, there are also both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate races heading into runoffs. Politico discusses what Jon Ossoff (D. GA) and Rev. Raphael Warnock (D. GA) are facing:

“Typically, in runoffs, you’re just trying to turn out your voters again … because it’ll be a smaller universe of voters going back to vote without a presidential race going on,” said DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond, a Democrat. “And [Warnock and Ossoff] will have to build on the coalition Biden built.”

Biden carried a high share of white voters for a Democrat in Georgia, but Trump may not push white suburbanites away from the GOP as strongly during a lame-duck runoff election as he has for the past four years. State Republicans rely more than ever on rural whites now, but without Trump on the ballot, they may not be as motivated to show up.

And Biden benefited heavily from booming turnout among voters of color, especially Black voters, who have proven their power in Georgia. But Warnock and Ossoff will need to motivate turnout just as high, under very different circumstances, in order to swing the state again.

“Donald Trump changed the election landscape,” said Chip Lake, a Republican consultant who worked for GOP Rep. Doug Collins in the Senate special election, which saw appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Warnock advance to January. “What we don’t know is, what happens to the electorate when he is [on his way] out of office and not on the ballot?”

Biden’s narrow Georgia lead was built on the clear, if challenging, path Stacey Abrams laid out in 2018. Abrams, who narrowly lost a run for governor but won Democratic plaudits for her message and talk-to-everybody campaign strategy, energized young voters, registered and turned out record numbers of people of color and peeled away white, college-educated voters in suburban counties, like Cobb and Gwinnett, that turned hard from Republicans in the Trump era.

Big name Democrats are wasting no time helping Ossoff and Warnock win a Senate Majority:

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Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced Saturday that he will be moving to Georgia to help Democrats clinch two crucial Senate runoffs in January.

The 45-year-old entrepreneur from New York made the announcement on Twitter, saying the best way to help President-Elect Joe Biden is to get him a Democratic Senate.
Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue will face Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff (respectively) on Jan. 5.

And Stacey Abrams is kicking ass in helping us win these two seat:

Stacey Abrams, the Democratic former candidate for Georgia governor who is credited with motivating voters against Donald Trump in the traditionally red state, has helped raise more than $3.6m in only two days for two crucial US Senate runoffs to be contested in January.

A spokesperson for Fair Fight Action, part of Abrams’ voter education and advocacy efforts, announced the achievement on Sunday.

While the closely-watched presidential election in Georgia has yet to be decided, with President-elect Joe Biden holding a slim lead over Donald Trump and the race heading to a recount, the 5 January Senate runoffs involving Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are drawing further attention – and massive political resources.

If Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are beaten, the Senate would be balanced 50-50, making Kamala Harris, as vice-president, the tie-breaking vote and thereby ending Republican control of the chamber.

And Abrams is making the argument that this time Democrats are going to win runoff elections:

In 2020, 7.6 million Georgians were registered to vote, compared to 4.6 million in 2000.

Abrams said Democrats will also not lack enthusiasm or resources, buoyed by the defeat of President Donald Trump — with Republicans commensurately demoralized by his loss (and false claims that elections are rigged) — and backed by what is expected to a record campaign chest, with Democrats expected to drop over $100 million on the Warnock-Loeffler race alone, according to CNBC.

“This is going to be the determining factor of whether we have access to healthcare and access to justice in the United States,” Abrams said. “Those are two issues that make certain people will turn out,” she said, and Ossoff and Warnock “are the two men who are going to make certain that Joe Biden has the leadership, the support, and the congressional mandate he needs to move this country forward.”

Here’s a breakdown of the current state of the race:

Here’s why Democrats feel like they have a shot to win these races: Georgia is rapidly changing. Democrats harnessed those demographic changes to perform remarkably well in the suburbs and outer suburbs. They had record turnout in counties outside Atlanta, and they managed to get a lot of people to successfully vote by mail.
“There is a demographic change happening in Georgia that is only accelerating every year,” said a Democratic strategist who has worked on Senate races in Georgia. “The state is diversifying and urbanizing at an incredible clip.”

Democrats also think that Perdue and Loeffler, both of whom have tied themselves extremely closely to the president, are weaker without him. If Perdue’s votes track almost exactly to Trump’s, then where will he be without Trump on the ballot? (Republicans counter that they think it was Democrat Joe Biden who pulled Perdue to his record votes.)

The open question is what happens when these two races become nationalized, even more than they were before. There won’t be a presidential race alongside them. But millions will be spent on both sides to get voters the message that the Senate majority hangs in the balance.