As of Dec. 14, early voting has commenced in Georgia for the Senate runoff races which will determine if Republicans or Democrats control the United States Senate.
So far, it seems as though the Senate races have garnered a lot of interest. According to numbers obtained by 11 Alive, 1.2 million absentee ballots have already been requested. In addition, a total of 913,568 votes have already been cast, with 486,829 votes coming from in-person, and 426,739 votes coming from absentee ballots.
As a refresher, the matchups taking place for the battle of the Senate are as follows: Republican Kelly Loeffler vs. Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock, and Republican David Perdue vs. Democrat Jon Ossoff.
Loeffler’s primary strategy against Warnock has been to go on the offensive. For instance, most Loeffler television ads concentrate on painting Warnock as a left-wing radical, citing anti-police rhetoric, anti-military rhetoric and implying that Warnock will make America less safe. Loeffler has used snippets of Warnock’s sermons against him in some of these ads also.
Warnock has coordinated a few attacks on Loeffler as well. For example, pro-Warnock advertisements have hit Loeffler on her insider-trading scandal, accusing her of profiting off of the pandemic. Additionally, Warnock has used Congress’s delay in passing a second round of stimulus checks to attack Loeffler. In most ads and campaign engagements, Warnock has advertised himself as a champion of working families, mainly prioritizing healthcare.
Unlike Loeffler, Perdue has essentially refrained from attacking his opponent Jon Ossoff directly. Instead, Perdue has focused on a “Save America” pitch that is similar to Loeffler’s in some respects. For instance, the angle of painting the opposition as radicals is still present, as Perdue says a Democrat-controlled Senate will bring socialized healthcare, defunded police departments, open borders and high taxes.
Ossoff has primarily focused on healthcare, and has also placed a strong emphasis on the impact of the pandemic. Unlike Perdue, however, Ossoff hasn’t shied away from attacking his opponent, criticizing Perdue for voting to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions and voting against $1,200 stimulus checks.
With a current 50-48 majority, Republicans only need one win in order to maintain their majority, whether that comes from Loeffler or Perdue. Democrats, on the other hand, need both Ossoff and Warnock to win in order for Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris to give them the winning vote and control of the Senate. Early voting officially ends on Dec. 31, and voting for both races will formally take place on Jan. 5.
Story written by Grant Palmer. Photo courtesy of Bethany Davis, Managing editor of graphic designs.