- Dec 4, 2020
More than 2.5 million voters have cast ballots during the early voting period for Georgia's high-stakes runoffs for two U.S. Senate seats, shattering records as both Democrats and Republicans mount unprecedented efforts to get their supporters to the polls.
The twin contests between Sen. David Perdue (R) and investigative journalist Jon Ossoff (D) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and the Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) will determine which party controls the Senate, and they've drawn hundreds of millions in campaign contributions and outside spending.
Underscoring just how narrowly divided the state is, the vast majority of that money has been spent trying to mobilize voters, rather than persuading the undecided.
"It's a base turnout election. Both of these candidates in both of these races have enough votes to win. It's about which candidate can turn out their base on Jan. 5," said Chip Lake, a veteran Republican strategist who worked for Loeffler's opponent, Rep. Doug Collins (R), in the November general election.
The Republican campaigns and their outside allies have deployed about 1,000 staffers to knock on doors and turn out votes. Democrats declined to detail their field teams, but in one measure of just how large the effort is, Ossoff's campaign employed a 30-person unit solely dedicated to registering new voters.
Both President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden will campaign in the state Monday ahead of Tuesday's election. Vice President Pence has made several trips on behalf of the GOP candidates, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will make her second trip on Sunday when she visits Savannah.
Public polling and internal Democratic and Republican surveys all indicate both races will be decided by slim margins. Early vote data compiled by the secretary of state's office shows the contests are set to shatter previous turnout records for runoffs, which tend to draw far fewer voters than a general election.
More than 2.5 million voters have cast ballots during the early voting period for Georgia’s high-stakes runoffs for two U.S. Senate seats, shattering records as both Democrats and Republicans mount…