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Top story from the Associated Press: “With control of the U.S. Senate at stake, all eyes are on a runoff election [in Georgia today] that has Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler facing Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Millions of dollars have poured in, Georgians have been bombarded by advertisements and messages urging them to vote, and both sides have sent their heavy hitters to help turn out voters.” Here are some things to keep in mind as the polls close tonight and here is what both sides are saying about the Senate races in the southern swing state:
On the Left: Democrats and left-leaning outlets believe Georgia is becoming bluer because of demographic shifts and these run-offs will highlight how much. Jonathan Martin and Astead W. Herndon of the New York Times news team say, “Although Georgia still skews slightly to the right of America’s political center, it has become politically competitive for the same demographic reasons the country is closely divided: Democrats have become dominant in big cities and suburban areas but they suffer steep losses in the lightly-populated regions that once elected governors, senators and, in Georgia, a native-born president, Jimmy Carter.” Dartunorro Clark of NBC News alludes to a similar demographic shift. He points out that “Seven of the 10 counties in the country with the fastest-growing Black populations are near Atlanta” adding, “it’s partly those demographic shifts, including a massive grassroots get-out-the-vote infrastructure built over years by Black activists, that delivered the state to a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1992 — and they may give Democrats a boost in today’s twin runoffs. In the subhead of Clark’s article NBC News includes a quote from an organizer in the Peach State which reads: “When we give Black voters something to vote for, great candidates with a great message, they show up,” encapsulating the train of thought amongst progressives.
On the Right: Conservative commentators and outlets think today’s runoffs will “test the theory that Trump’s stance harms the GOP,” as Susan Crabtree writes for RealClearPolitics. They are also begging “Georgia Republicans to vote against Pelosi and Schumer” as Liz Peek titles her Fox News Op-Ed. Crabtree begins by saying, “Tuesday’s results will put a contentious political theory to its first test: whether assertions by President Trump and his supporters of widespread vote fraud in the 2020 presidential contest will boomerang against Republicans by undermining trust in the election system and depressing GOP votes.” Many on the right hope this isn’t the case and are imploring Republicans to vote. In her opinion article for Fox, Peek appeals to the Georgia audience, saying: “You have the terrible responsibility, in these last remaining hours, to decide the future of our country. For the sake of the nation and of Georgia, you must get out and vote to elect Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler to the Senate.” Peek then lists “what’s on the line” which includes “Democrats massively raising taxes,” stricter gun laws for the “49% of Georgians who live in homes that contain guns,” and “open borders.” Peek says “Another push by Democrats could lead to so-called ‘reparations’ payments to descendants of people brought to this country as slaves. Peek concludes by saying, “That’s a hint of what’s in store if Democrats take the Senate. Georgia – you can still save yourselves, and this great nation. Please vote for Loeffler and Perdue”
Flag This: If the Republicans win their races, the GOP would hold a 52 seat Senate majority. This would allow them to slow some of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda. Conversely, Democrats would have 50 seats if their candidates win. More importantly, they would have a tie-breaking vote from Vice President-elect Kamala Harris who would give Democrats control of the Senate after six years of a GOP majority. So far, over 3 million Georgia residents have already cast their votes in the runoff races, surpassing the previous total turnout record for a runoff of about 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2008 Senate runoff between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin. So far, data shows that Democrats hold an advantage in early voting turnout, which ended on Thursday. Republicans generally see higher Election Day turnout.