I’m liking CNN’s Chris Cillizza’s take here:
On Thursday, Senate Democrats got a bit of an unexpected boost when Jon Ossoff eked above the 50% plateau in the party primary and, in so doing, avoided a runoff for the right to face Republican Sen. David Perdue in Georgia in the fall.In clearing the 50% mark, Ossoff — along with national Democrats — avoids what would have been a two-month runoff that would have not only been costly but also would have truncated the timeline to rally behind the eventual nominee.While Perdue's bid for a second term draws less attention than appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler's ongoing struggles in her first six months in office, there's little question that Georgia's changing demographics — and distaste for President Donald Trump among suburban women — have made the state a battleground at the presidential and Senate level.Don't believe me? Just ask Perdue! “Here's the reality: The state of Georgia is in play,” Perdue said in late April, according to an audio recording of a call with “Women for Trump” obtained by CNN. “The Democrats have made it that way.”
With the race now defined as Ossoff versus Perdue, the narrative of this election is now set:
One is a veteran former corporate chieftain with a direct line to the White House. The other is a younger investigative journalist who says his opponent is the embodiment of all that is wrong with Washington.
Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff present dramatically different visions of government as they square off for Perdue’s U.S. Senate seat, one of two up for grabs in Georgia this November as Democrats try to retake control of the chamber
Fresh off his primary victory, Ossoff aims to unite Democrats behind a message that it’s time to purge the federal government of President Donald Trump and his Republican allies — “a wannabe tyrant and his cowardly enablers” — and pass a new civil rights measure to address systemic racial inequalities.
“What Trump is doing to America is wrong. And we all recognize it’s wrong,” Ossoff said in an interview. “Our responsibility is to build a republic that lives up to our national ideals, to solve our public health crisis, to invest in infrastructure and clean energy, and to defend and strengthen civil rights and voting rights.”
Perdue presents himself as a steady conservative voice, leveraging his close ties to Trump and his decades of experience at the top of the corporate ladder to make the case that he’s a voice of stability and law and order at a tumultuous moment in American politics.
“We need leadership. It’s like the big turnarounds I was a part of during my business career — it’s when leaders come to the fore,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I’m still the outsider in the belly of the beast after six years. There are a lot of career politicians here, and my role has been trying to be a stabilizing influence,” he added. “My role up here is to be the adult in the room, and I’m fulfilling that.”
Perdue, 70, heads toward November with built-in advantages: the power of incumbency, a legislative record praised by conservatives, more than $9 million in campaign cash, full-throated support of a president popular with Republicans and a state political apparatus allied behind him.
The unified GOP support is a contrast from Georgia’s other U.S. Senate race, a November special election that pits newly appointed financial executive Kelly Loeffler against U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, a fellow Republican, and 19 others.
Ossoff aims to leverage other dynamics. The 33-year-old’s nationally watched congressional race in 2017 afforded him soaring name recognition, and this week’s primary victory triggered calls for unity. Stacey Abrams, who stayed neutral in the race, told the AJC that she’s “incredibly excited” about his bid.
He’s also proved he can keep pace with Perdue’s fundraising machine by shattering financial records to raise roughly $30 million three years ago. Internal polls by GOP groups show a tight race between the two, unnerving Republicans wary of losing a statewide seat for the first time in more than a decade.
Perdue acknowledges the challenge, repeatedly saying narrow Republican victories in the 2018 midterms, as well as the party’s struggles in down-ticket races across the suburbs, should be a “wake-up call.”
“My role is going to be to expose this radical agenda that Democrats are trying to perpetrate. It didn’t get done in ’18, and I’m going to do that in ’20,” Perdue said.
“Do you want bigger government, more regulation, more taxes? Or do you want to go to less regulation, a competitive tax code and more energy investment? We’re off to a good start, but I believe there’s much to be done,” he said. “The contrast in this race is going to be very clear.”
Georgia is going to be a key state in not just winning the Presidency but also winning the U.S. Senate, especially since both Senate seats are up for grabs. We need to get ready now if we want to flip Georgia blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Ossoff, Rev. Raphael Warnock (D. GA) and Joe Biden’s campaigns:
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