At this moment, Joe Biden leads the presidential vote in Georgia by 10,647 votes out of nearly 5 million cast. Meanwhile, both Georgia senate races will be heading for runoff elections because no candidate reached the 50% threshold required by Georgia law. As things now stand, winning those two races would create a 50-50 split in the Senate which would hand control of the chamber to the Democrats.
Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is trailing in his Senate race to Republican David Perdue by about 90,000 votes, say Democrats now have the wind at their backs. “There’s a huge sense of enthusiasm and momentum here in Georgia right now,” he said. He added, “Now to have two Senate runoffs for Senate control with so much at stake, with this virus still raging out of control, with an urgent need to get economic and financial relief to families in my state and across the country— we have the wind at our backs and a great sense of promise and opportunity here.”
“Now with two Senate runoffs in a single state, this is the moment to demonstrate that the people of this state and this country want a government that will respond properly and in a focused and coherent way to this pandemic,” Ossoff said.
Ossoff kept repeating that same basic talking point when challenged, so I think it’s fair to say that’s what Democrats are planning to run with, at least as of now. The message is going to be: Give us the Senate so we can stop the virus.
It’s a lot easier to make a promise like that when you know, as of today in fact, that a workable vaccine is on the horizon. But guess what, that vaccine is going to roll out just as quickly if Republicans control the Senate. So, no, an effective response to the pandemic does not depend on these races. Unfortunately, CNN didn’t challenge him on that point but Democrats will be challenged on it by others over the next two months.
This election isn’t even over yet and we’re already headed in to a new, mini-election to decide the fate of the Senate. Politico reported last week that donors are already lining up on both sides:
With the stakes so high, the state is likely to see tens of millions of dollars pour in from small donors and super PACs from both parties ahead of the Jan. 5 runoffs.
Already, high-dollar donors have begun lining up behind an effort to pour resources into the Georgia races, according to several Democratic donors and donor advisers, who described a flurry of phone calls on the matter to refocus funds. The anti-abortion group Women Speak Out PAC announced a $4 million expenditure on Thursday for the two races, for example, and the traditional GOP apparatus is already soliciting contributions.
“The fate of the Senate Majority is on the line in Georgia. If you don’t step up now, Schumer and the Dems take control,” the National Republican Senatorial Committee wrote in a text message to donors Thursday afternoon, with a link to the committee’s donation page…
And Democrats see the twin races as a chance for redemption, after they failed to live up to expectations in other battleground states during this cycle.
Bottom line: It’s going to be pretty hard for Joe Biden to sell his unity message when we’re not done fighting yet and won’t be until January. Here’s the Ossoff interview on CNN.
“We have the wind at our backs and a great sense of promise and opportunity,” says US Senate candidate Jon Ossoff, whose contest in Georgia with GOP Sen. Purdue has gone into a runoff. “Now it’s all about getting people out to the polls” on January 5. https://t.co/rsKAPCTpGp pic.twitter.com/a4pdQQedhI
— CNN (@CNN) November 9, 2020