The Runoff Report: What GA runoff candidates are up to on first day of early voting

Republicans have secured 50 seats in the next U.S. Senate compared to Democrats’ 48 (including two independents who caucus with them). Control of the next Senate comes down to Georgia’s runoff elections. In The Runoff Report, we provide the latest on each race and the fight for Senate control.

Regular election updates

David Perdue appeared on Fox & Friends Monday morning and encouraged Georgians to turn out and vote. He said of the general election, “52-and-a-half percent of Georgians rejected Jon Ossoff in my race and this liberal leftist agenda, so I’m confident if we get our vote out, we will win again.” Over the weekend, Perdue campaigned in Savannah, Uvalda, Hazlehurst, and Douglas on his “Win Georgia, Save America” tour.

Jon Ossoff held a rally in Augusta Dec. 13, the beginning of his “Health, Jobs and Justice” tour. He said, “They [the Senate] should be back in Washington right now passing $1,200 relief checks for the people and additional support for our small businesses. They should be working for us.”

This election is for a full six-year term ending January 2027. Perdue was first elected in 2014. Ossoff ran against Karen Handel (R) in the 6th Congressional District special election in 2017.

Click here for more coverage of the regular election.

Special election updates

Kelly Loeffler also appeared on Fox & Friends this morning, saying, “The president came here last week and urged voters to exercise their right, and it’s vitally important that we do that, because Georgia is the firewall to socialism.” Loeffler kicked off her “Senate Firewall Tour” Dec. 11. She campaigned in Commerce, Dawsonville, Milledgeville, Savannah, and Warner Robins throughout the weekend. 

Raphael Warnock cast his early vote with former Atlanta Mayor and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young. Over the weekend, Warnock was in Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Savannah, Waycross, Albany, Columbus, and Warner Robins on his “Get Ready to Vote” tour.

The special election will fill the remainder of the term Johnny Isakson (R) won in 2016. He resigned in Dec. 2019, and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Loeffler, co-owner of the WNBA team Atlanta Dream. Warnock is senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The winner will complete the term ending in January 2023. 

Click here for more coverage of the special election.

Overall campaign updates

  • Warnock and Ossoff are holding an early vote car rally in Atlanta today.
  • Perdue and Loeffler campaigned together with Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in Savannah Dec. 12.

Today: Senate candidates’ vote shares compared to presidential candidates

The Cook Political Report compared Senate candidates’ performance to presidential candidates’ performance in the Nov. 3 election. 

Cook‘s Jessica Taylor wrote, “Perdue finished first over Democrat Jon Ossoff by about 2 points (88,098 votes), narrowly outpacing Trump by 780 votes, while Ossoff underperformed Biden by 99,988 votes. In the special election that had 20 candidates on one ballot, the comparisons are a bit harder to make. But if you add up all the Republican candidate votes versus all the Democratic candidate votes, all GOP totals narrowly edged out Democratic ones by about 1 point, or 47,808 votes.” 

The analysis also offers a county-by-county breakdown of results for presidential and Senate candidates. Click here to read it.