Strong turnout from Black voters and a significant backlash to attacks on Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock has Democrats hopeful that both he and Jon Ossoff can pull off wins.
Both races were within two percentage points in the latest polls and more than 3 million people in the state voted early in the highly-anticipated Jan. 5 Senate runoffs. President-elect Joe Biden and outgoing President Donald Trump held rallies in the state Monday night to boost morale for their supporters.
Warnock, who’s running against Sen. Kelly Loeffler, has been the target of numerous attacks by Republicans, including that his sermons promote Marxism and that he covered up child abuse. The attacks have only pushed Black men and women in the state to support Warnock more, as he’s the only Black candidate in the group.
“I think Black voters, and voters all across the state, are frustrated with politicians who are only thinking about themselves,” Warnock told The Huffington Post. “I think Sen. Kelly Loeffler has run the most negative campaign in Georgia history. She’s made a decision to attack my faith, and my church. And it’s not resonating.”
Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams, whose organization Fair Fight was paramount in Biden taking the state by more than 12,000 votes, told late night host Stephen Colbert that she is betting on both Ossoff and Warnock Tuesday.
“We have seen incredible turn out from Democrats across the state [and] we have seen a diverse electorate the likes of which we haven’t seen in a runoff and we’re energized,” Abrams said. “People want COVID relief. They want good jobs. They want access to justice and they want Joe Biden to have a partner, not an obstructionist. And that means they need Kamala Harris not only to be the president of the Senate, but the tie-breaking vote so that we can get the things we need in this next term.”
Both parties have spent millions on the races and changed their campaigning efforts to door knocking and talking directly to those who will vote. If both Warnock and Ossoff win, the government will be fully controlled by Democrats for the first time since former President Barack Obama‘s first two years in office. During that time, Obama passed a stimulus package related to the housing crisis, negotiated the auto bailout, and passed the Affordable Care Act.