GA-Sen A: The Daily Beast, “David Perdue’s (R) Race Was Under the Radar. Then He Opened His Mouth”

From The Daily Beast:

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When Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) theatrically mocked Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ first name at a rally in front of President Trump and a fired-up crowd last week, it reminded a national audience that there is, in fact, another heated U.S. Senate contest in the battleground state of Georgia.

And that race might be just as intense as the Shakespearean blood feud unfolding between Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA)—and, at the very least, just as pivotal to the larger battle over control of the U.S. Senate next year.

The contest between Perdue, a first-term Republican, and Jon Ossoff, a Democrat who in 2017 ran and lost in the first blockbuster special election of the Trump era, has flown under the radar. But the events of this year have dramatically raised the stakes of the race—in particular, a shifting national and state-level political terrain that has put real gains in Georgia squarely within reach for Democrats, and a COVID crisis that has sparked ethical scrutiny on Perdue.

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Salon reminds us that Perdue has been putting his foot in his mouth since 2014:

Perdue likely has a last name familiar to many Americans because of its resemblance to the namesake of Perdue Farms. However, the Republican is not part of the family who owns the major poultry processing company.

Nevertheless, the senator once invoked this likeness during a brief conversation with a Black man at a 2014 campaign event. Upon introduction, the Republican asked whether the young man liked Perdue chicken before referencing Herman Cain, the former Black Republican presidential candidate. The unprompted exchange, which took place at a campaign stop in the northwest Atlanta suburb of Marietta, was caught on video footage first obtained by Salon.

As seen on the video, a young Black man with a blue Perdue campaign sticker on his maroon shirt introduced himself to the candidate. Amid crosstalk, the unidentified man shook Perdue's hand in an apparent sign of support.

As he placed a hand on the man's shoulder, Perdue said, “Let me ask you a question: How do you like Perdue chicken?”

“Delicious,” the man responded.

“Herman Cain's got to be at our thing Sunday or Monday night,” Perdue continued, referencing the well-known Black Republican politician from Georgia who had run for president two years earlier.

Perdue added that Cain had jokingly endorsed his campaign by “talking about how much he loves Perdue chicken.”

And of course, Ossoff is still slamming Perdue on this:

On Tuesday, Ossoff was joined by Democratic state lawmakers, slamming Perdue’s comments.

“Georgia needs leaders who unite us,” Ossoff told reporters. “David Perdue has resorted to schoolyard insults and bullying, mocking his political opponents for their names and heritage.”

The group said that type of racism, hate and bigotry is unacceptable in the Peach State — and that Georgians deserve better.

“David Perdue took a name that has deep meaning in South Asian culture and the Hindu religion and turned into a punch line,” said State Rep. Angelika Kausche. “It took him seconds for so many people who chose America as home, he thinks of us as foreign.”

And of course Moscow Mitch is going to try and bail out Perdue:

A gigantic fundraising haul and outsized spending by a super PAC led by close allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have alarmed Senate Democrats, who fear their candidates may be outspent down the stretch of the election despite record grassroots fundraising.
Senate Leadership Fund, the super political action committee controlled by McConnell allies, raised $92 million in September and began October with more than $103 million in the bank, according to a Federal Election Commission report filed Tuesday afternoon. Those huge sums, collected mostly from checks of donors who gave more than $1 million and in some cases have not revealed themselves, have helped Senate Republicans gain a financial edge in several key races.
Over the final days of the election, according to the Democrats tracking media buys, Republicans are set to outspend Democrats on TV in four key Senate races: Michigan, where Democrats are hopeful Sen. Gary Peters can defend his seat against Republican John James; Georgia, where Democrat Jon Ossoff is looking to knock off GOP Sen. David Perdue; Kansas, where Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier is battling Rep. Roger Marshall for an open seat; and in South Carolina, where Democrat Jaime Harrison is putting a scare into GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

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