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Home / US / Jon Ossoff and David Perdue’s Georgia Senate race goes to the Runoff stage

Jon Ossoff and David Perdue’s Georgia Senate race goes to the Runoff stage

Senate control remained balanced on Friday in Georgia after Sen. David Perdue, a Republican, lacked the majority of votes he needed to win re-election, setting the stage for for the second run in January in a rapidly changing situation.

With the Senate barely divided, the twin rematch scheduled just two weeks before Inauguration will almost certainly determine which party controls the room, as well as the fate of the agenda. by Joseph R. Biden Jr. if you win to win the White House. , as expected.

Faced with such lofty stakes, both parties are quick to position themselves for a nine-week end-of-year sprint that could cost another $ 1

00 million as Republicans and Democrats. contested for a pair of important and hostile seats over the outcome of the presidential election. The landings promise to push the rapidly changing Georgia at the center of the nation’s political conflict and test the Democrats’ emerging level of power in what was once a Republican stronghold. in Deep South.

Georgia’s special Senate elections have been destined for a stream since Tuesday, when Bishop Dr. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat and Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, emerged as the top two vote recipients in a crowded field competing to replace retired senator Johnny Isakson.

But Republicans were hoping they could prevent such a second election in Perdue’s case. However, by the time his race was called Friday night after a lengthy vote count, Mr. Perdue took a lead ahead of Jon Ossoff, who challenged his Democrats and no candidate won. majority of votes are required under Georgia law to avoid a rematch.

The other two Senate races, in North Carolina and in Alaska, were yet to be called on Friday night. But Republicans are leading the way in both and are expected to win, which would put them in the 50th place vs. the Democrat’s 48 seats.

If Democrats take both Georgia seats, they will pull the Senate with a 50-50 draw, effectively taking control of the room if Mr. Biden is elected president, since the vice president has the right to vote yes. . But it is a high order in a country with deeply conservative origins and the Republicans feel reasonably confident that they can cling to at least one of the seats needed to deny a majority of Democrats, especially if the number of voters to vote in January decreases.

For Democrats, who have struggled in the past to get voters out of the vote, this will be a banking effort to harness Washington’s full control after a series of national elections. Disappointing Assembly. They were so preoccupied with the task that in Washington Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Democrats in a private call on Thursday heeding their message in the coming weeks if there was no risk. stay away from large Georgia voters.

If Mr. Biden wins, it seems increasingly likely that on Friday Republicans will have an incentive to reject him by majority, holding substantial power to shape at least the first two years. of term and deterrent ambitions. A super PAC affiliated with Susan B. Anthony List, the anti-abortion group, pledged $ 4 million to Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler on Thursday.

Regardless of the end result, the runs are a clear indication of the growing power of the Democratic Party of Georgia. After years of anticipation, the mobilization of black voters and the pro-Democratic movement of educated white women in the suburbs of Atlanta signaled Georgia’s status as a battlefield nation. The last real may have come.

“Change has come to Georgia,” Mr. Ossoff predicted at a rally on Friday, “and Georgia is part of the change coming to America.”

Perdue’s campaign made it clear that he would seek to nationalize the race, saying that a vote for Mr. Ossoff would be “a vote to empower Chuck Schumer and his members. Radical Democrats in Washington ”. Republicans are poised to try to exploit the discontent among President Trump’s most fervent supporters, hoping that the president’s unfounded statements about fraud and backlash about His ability to lose could win them January.

With Mr. Trump defying the election results, it is difficult to predict the extent to which he will participate in Senate races. But early Friday morning, he hinted in a tweet that Democrats were still trying to claim power through nefarious means so they could reverse Republican policies.

“Will End Movie, ‘Life’, 2A, and Will Pack and Rotate the Court. The president has become even more important, ”he wrote. “We will win!”

Ms. Loeffler, for one person, has been racing to support his support, constantly tweeting in support of the president and making donations to his cause.

“Pray for @realDonaldTrump for four more years!” she wrote in a tweet.

For all national overtones, the races could also be a decisive moment for Georgia, a battle between the new Atlanta-represented South and its increasingly diverse suburbs and the Region. The old male is dominated by rural and business conservatives.

Mr Perdue, 70, the former chief executive of Reebok and Dollar General, who beat his Democratic rival eight points in 2014, was initially expected to have an easy path to re-election.

But he was weighed down by voter dissatisfaction with Mr. Trump’s coronavirus response – and by his own mistakes. He faced the anti-Semitic accusation after running a Facebook ad enlarging the nose of Mr. Ossoff, a Jew, a move his campaign blamed on a supplier. He struggled to keep up with Mr. Ossoff’s extraordinary fundraising, which exploded in mid-October after Mr. Perdue openly mocked the first name of Sen. Kamala Harris, his colleague in the Senate in almost four years and Democratic candidate for the deputy position. chairman.

“Kah-MAH-lah or KAH-mah-lah or Kamamboamamla – I don’t know,” he said at a rally for Mr. Trump in Macon. Perdue’s campaign team said he “mispronounced” the first name of Harris, a black woman of Indian and Jamaican origin. Mr Ossoff calls it bullying and says it is racially insensitive.

As in the 2014 race, Mr. Perdue ran as a Washington outsider, campaigning in a denim jacket instead of the expensive tailor-made suits he wore in the Senate. The case is harder to do this time with his record of six years there. But he tied his campaign closely to another bystander, Mr. Trump, and pushed the campaign forward.

Mr. Perdue criticized Mr. Ossoff for being too extreme towards the state, distorting many Democrats’ views on well-being, health care and a host of other issues to try to drive away moderate voters about on his side. He praised the Republican tax and regulation cuts, as well as the popular programs Congress passed to help unemployed Americans and small businesses through the pandemic.

In a good sign for Republicans approaching the flow, Mr. Perdue outperformed Mr. Trump in Tuesday’s vote, and Mr. Ossoff followed Mr. Biden.

Mr. Ossoff, 33, tried to portray Mr. Perdue as a celebrity of special interests, who failed in Georgia during times of crisis and put the health of the public at risk. by forcing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Citing reports that Perdue was stock-trading during the early period of the pandemic, Mr Ossoff accused the senator of being more concerned with his own financial success than that of the Georgians.

“Senator David Perdue is about to retire,” Mr Ossoff said on Friday. “A senator sees fit to keep attacking our health care mid-pandemic. One senator told us that this disease that took a quarter of a million lives is no more deadly than the regular flu while he was on his own guard.

The special election took place under a similar themed course, but placed two very different candidates against each other. Dr. Warnock, 51, who headed after Tuesday’s vote, was the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Pastor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. each leader.

Ms. Loeffler, 49, is a businesswoman and the richest member of the Senate. She passed a tough test from Representative Doug Collins, a Republican. She poured more than $ 20 million of her fortune into the race and was backed by the governor of the state’s Republican party and Senate Republican campaign, who believed Loeffler’s record. as a businesswoman can win back suburban independent voters, especially women.

But the fight to get rid of Mr Collins has been fierce and personal, leaving Ms. Loeffler leaning to the right. She drew the support of Marjorie Taylor Greene, a conspiracy theorist with QAnon who won a House of Representatives seat on Tuesday in Georgia, and took on other positions that may be difficult to get around in May. Even though she’s trying to redirect her campaign around her success as a businesswoman and recording in Washington dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

On Thursday, she began her assault on Dr. Warnock, giving a glimpse of a pamphlet that will try to harness his eloquence for years on the podium and self-policy stances. due to portraying him as the stereotypical pastor of Father Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., former pastor of former President Barack Obama, who used the “Damn America” ​​sermon to attack the former president .

But Republicans are starting late. Spending much of the year with Collins’ retention, Ms. Loeffler left Dr. Warnock virtually unaffected as he introduced himself to voters as a pastor and healer.

Predicting a flurry of impending attacks, Dr. Warnock used his first ad of the flow, a fake ad of a campaign-style attack, released on Thursday to try to engage voters on what’s to come.

“Get ready, Georgia, the negative ads are coming,” he said. “Kelly Loeffler doesn’t want to talk about why she quit healthcare in the midst of a pandemic, so she’ll try to scare you with lies about me.”

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