GEORGIA
     Jan. 5, 2021 Senate Runoffs                                     

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Sen.2
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+Jon Ossoff (D) 2,269,923
50.61%
David A. Perdue (R) i 2,214,979
49.39%

4,484,902

Plurality: 54,944 votes (1.22 percentage points)



+Raphael Warnock (D) 2,289,113
51.04%
Kelly Loeffler (R) i 2,195,841
48.96%

4,484,954

Plurality: 93,272 votes (2.08 percentage points)

 GA Secretary of State





Notes: 
An immense amount of money and resources poured into the two runoff races as control of the U.S. Senate was at stake (+); if Democrats were to win both seats, which seemed unlikely, improbable, and just about impossible, there would be a 50-50 tie in the Senate. 

Republican and Democratic staff from just-concluded general election campaigns traveled to Georgia to help with canvassing.

A number of groups focused on registering new voters by the Dec. 7 deadline for the runoff.  The Civics Center reported about 23,000 young people who were not old enough to vote in the general election would turn 18 by Jan. 5 and be eligible to vote.
  On Nov. 30 Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whose office was still in the midst of a general election recount, announced an investigation into reports of groups attempting to register people outside of Georgia or in state temporarily (>).

Political leaders from both parties put in appearances to support their respective candidates.  President Trump made two visits and Vice President Pence five visits in support of Perdue and Loeffler, and other Trump family members put in appearances as well
(+).  President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris made two visits each to support Ossoff and Warnock (+).

On Dec. 6 Loeffler and Warnock debated in studio in Atlanta as part of the Atlanta Press Club Loudermilk-Young Debate Series, hosted by Georgia Public Broadcasting (>).  Loeffler repeatedly tagged Warnock as a "radical liberal" and contrasted visions of the American Dream and socialism.  Warnock compared Loeffler, the wealthiest member of Congress, with himself, the eleventh of twelve children who grew up in public housing. 

The debate between Perdue and Ossoff, a
lso part of the Atlanta Press Club Loudermilk-Young Debate Series, took place on Dec. 7, but Perdue declined to participate and was represented by an empty podium (>).  Ossoff repeated his charges that Perdue "has been using his office to enrich himself," suggested Perdue hadn't appeared because he feared he would incriminate himself and labeled Perdue a "coward."

Perdue went into quarantine on Dec. 31, after being notified he had been in close contact with a campaign staffer who had tested positive for COVID-19.  He campaigned virtually and surrogates were out on the trail.
 

The runoff campaigns occurred against the backdrop of Biden's narrow win in the Peach State.  AP called Georgia for Biden on Nov. 13.  The results of the formal recount announced on Dec. 7 put Biden's margin at
11,779 votes (0.24 percentage points), but President Trump continued to repeat his charges of election fraud.  In this crusade Trump repeatedly belittled Gov. Brian Kemp (R), even calling for him to resign on Dec. 30.  On Jan. 2 Trump called Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an attempt to pressure him into finding votes (+).  Such division in the Republican leadership created the opening for Democrats to succeed in the runoff campaigns. 

Additionally, attorneys Lin Wood and
Sidney Powell created something of a circus atmosphere in Georgia.  A
t a Dec. 2 press conference in Atlanta, for example, Wood argued that Loeffler and Perdue needed to earn Georgians' votes by calling for a special session of the legislature.  "Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election?" Wood asked (>).  

Trump's fraud narrative gave a major assist to Democrats, who were able to build on Biden's Nov. 3 win.  Both Warnock and Ossoff achieved narrow victories, putting a surprising, unexpected exclamation mark on the 2020 cycle.

The two Georgia Senate races were the most expensive in U.S. history.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics:


Campaigns
Outside Groups
Total
Perdue-Ossoff
$239.2m
$269.3m
$508.5m
Loeffler-Warnock
$181.1m
$183.7m
$364.7m



See also:
Stephen Fowler.  "Who Stayed Home More In Georgia Senate Runoffs? Rural White Republicans."  Georgia Public Broadcasting, Apr. 22, 2020.




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