For much of the 2020 election cycle, Republicans were favored to win Georgia’s Senate race, but with less than a week left until the November 3 vote, one forecaster now says both contests are a runoff.
Sabato’s crystal ball at the University of Virginia changed the odds on Thursday morning. As reasons for the change, the forecaster cited a tightening of polls, an influx of money into the races, and the possibility of run-offs. In total, Sabato’s crystal ball for the Senate shows 50 seats leaning toward the Democrats, 47 seats leaning toward the Republicans, and three draws.
In response to the postponement of the score, GOP Senator David Perdue’s campaign said he knew “from day one” that this would be one of the closest races in the country and criticized the Democrats for spending millions of dollars to help opponent Jon Ossoff.
“They resorted to lies about Senator Perdue to distract voters from Ossoff’s radical socialist agenda,” said John Burke, Perdue’s director of communications. “The people of Georgia know that Senator Perdue has worked hard to ensure the relief of COVID-19, to support our military communities and to revive our economy. They will re-elect him on November 3.”
The Ossoff campaign did not respond in time for release to Tekk.tv’s request for a comment.
During a televised debate on Wednesday, the Democrat criticised Perdue’s record in health care and the coronavirus pandemic in comments that went viral. Ossoff called Perdue a “crook” and said the senator “in the midst of this health crisis still supports efforts to lift protection for Georgians with pre-existing conditions.
According to recent polls, the race between Ossoff and Perdue is a neck-and-neck race. The latest survey by the University of Monmouth, published on Wednesday, showed a statistical draw between the two candidates.
Georgia’s other Senate campaign is a special election, with more than 20 candidates on the ballot. But mostly it is a three-way contest between Republicans Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins and Democrat Raphael Warnock. Polls have shown that Warnock is in the lead, with Senator Loeffler and Congressman Collins dividing the Republican vote equally.
Warnock’s campaign, in response to the shift of the campaign to the field of candidacy, the church minister said that he “will end this campaign as he began it and as he has worked for the workers, families and Georgians throughout his career.
“We are humbled that people are picking up the energy we have seen in our travels through the state. Georgia is the battlefield, and Reverend Warnock is the senator we need to protect access to affordable health care, the right to vote and the things that are important to Georgians,” said campaign spokesman Terrence Clark.
Tekk.tv approached the Loeffler and Collins campaigns for comments on the Sabatoos crystal ball ratings change, but did not receive a response in time for release.
The two hard-fought senatorial elections – especially the special elections – could lead to a run-off vote that would put majority control of the chamber in abeyance until after the turn of the year.
If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes on election day, Georgian law requires that the two best-placed candidates (regardless of their party affiliation) participate in a run-off. The runoff election would take place on January 5, 2021.
The two Democratic candidates, Warnock and Ossoff, were supported by Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama. In his endorsement, Biden praised both candidates for their focus on healthcare, voting rights and workers’ rights.
On the Republican side, Loeffler and Collins fought for the support of President Donald Trump. Trump didn’t support anyone in this race, but during a campaign rally in Atlanta last month he said, “They’re going to be in there fighting, fighting, fighting…. And the only thing I know for sure is that they will all vote for me”.
Trump endorsed Perdue back in June when he posted on Twitter: “We need our Great David Perdue (@PerdueSenate) in the Senate to drain the swamp and make America great again! His radical-liberal opponent, Jon Ossoff (whom we will defeat in 2017), supports RIGHTless refuge cities, wants to increase your taxes & weaken our Great Military. He is a Mar