Georgia Democratic Senate Candidates Raphael Warnock (R) and Jon Ossoff (L) clash their elbows during a “It’s Time to Vote” drive-in rally on December 28, 2020 in Stonecrest, Georgia.
Jessica McGowan | Getty Images
More than 3 million residents of Georgia have already cast their votes in the two runoff elections on January 5th. This is a historic turnout in a competition to determine whether Democrats or Republicans will control the U.S. Senate this year.
Tuesday’s races will be between Republican Senator David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, and Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock.
If Perdue and Loeffler won their races, Republicans would have a Senate majority of 52 seats, which would allow them to block part of President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda.
The Democratic caucus would have 50 seats if Ossoff and Warnock won. And a groundbreaking vote by Vice President-elect Harris would give Democrats control of the Senate after six years of GOP majority.
Democrats currently control the House of Representatives and will continue to control the chamber through 2021. Republicans have a slim majority in the Senate.
President Donald Trump, who has unfounded claims that Georgia’s two Senate races are invalid, will hold a rally for Perdue and Loeffler on Monday.
Biden is expected to travel to Atlanta on Monday while Harris is due to visit Savannah on Sunday to support Ossoff and Warnock. The Democratic candidates have broken records for fundraising during their campaigns, raising more than $ 100 million each in the past few months, largely due to small donations.
Ivanka Trump and Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) wave to the crowd at a campaign rally on December 21, 2020 in Milton, Georgia.
Elijah Nouvelage | Getty Images
Strong allies of the president, Perdue and Loeffler backed $ 600 stimulus payments as part of the broader bailout package and attacked Democratic opponents for arguing that those payments were insufficient. However, they reversed course and broke with many Senate Republicans to support Trump’s calls for $ 2,000 stimulus checks after Congress passed the bill.
Ossoff and Warnock have been working closely with Biden’s plan to give Americans more coronavirus relief and direct controls. They have condemned their opponents for their handling of the pandemic, insisting that GOP senators haven’t done enough to push for a vote on higher stimulus controls in the Senate.
The 3,002,100 early vote accounts for 38.8% of all registered voters in Georgia. This is based on data collected by the University of Florida US election project. The early vote surpasses the previous voter turnout record for a runoff of around 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2008 Senate runoff between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin.
Data shows Democrats have an advantage when it comes to voter turnout in Georgia. The early voting ended on Thursday. Republicans generally see a higher turnout on election day. Voter turnout has lagged in rural, conservative congressional districts in Georgia, particularly in the northwestern part of the state, where Trump will campaign on Monday, according to local reports.
Republicans have accelerated their voting efforts. Days before the runoff election, Perdue began quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Perdue told Fox News on Saturday that he would not be attending the president’s rally on Monday because of his quarantine.