Georgia runoff races to decide Senate balance of power
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Bluestein on how the candidates’ messages will sway voters.
Raphael Warnock, the Democratic candidate running in one of two high-profile U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia, tried on Sunday to refocus the race as not about regaining control of the Senate, but as “about the people of Georgia.”
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Warnock, 51, sought to reframe to race as a referendum on the progressive agenda, with things like providing access to affordable healthcare.
“Chuck Schumer’s name is certainly not on the ballot,” Warnock said. “I will you what is on the ballot. Health care is on the ballot — access to affordable health care. We have got 500,000 Georgians in the Medicaid gap. We have got 1.8 million Georgians with preexisting conditions."
This combination of photos shows Raphael Warnock, left, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sen. Kelly Loeffler on Nov. 3, 2020, in Atlanta.
He was further optimistic that once Georgians “hear about my commitment to access to affordable health care, the dignity of work, the work I have been doing for years, standing up for ordinary people, we will prevail come January 5."
The U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia have gained national attention for the significant outcome they will have on the direction of the country. The GOP currently holds 50 Senate seats, meaning that if Democrats sweep the two Georgia races, the parties will be tied at 50 seats apiece. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able to break tied votes, essentially giving Democrats the majority.
Warnock is running against incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler; and fellow Democrat, Jon Ossoff, is running against Republican Sen. David Perdue.
Warnock’s campaign has received significant support from national figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who on Thursday sent out a fundraising email on his behalf.
Loeffler has tried to use Sanders’ support as fodder against Warnock, tweeting Friday: “Folks – this says it all. Bernie Sanders is raising money for @ReverendWarnock.”
“If Democrats win the Senate, Bernie will be the Budget Chairman. We can’t let that happen,” she wrote.
The race has taken an uglier turn too with resurfaced allegations that Warnock and another minister supposedly tried to cover up an investigation into child abuse at a church-run camp in 2002 – but the charges were dropped a few months later.
A campaign spokesperson told Fox News that Warnock “was protecting the rights of young people to make sure they had a lawyer or a parent when being questioned. Law enforcement officials later apologized and praised him for his help in this investigation.”
The Georgia runoffs are on Jan. 5 and voters have until Dec. 7 to register to vote.
Fox News' Tyler Olson contributed to this report.
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