When we did our deep dive analysis into the pair of Senate runoffs in Georgia, we explained why the GOP cannot take victories for granted -- but also why Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are the favorites to win. Factors that combine to benefit the GOP are historical trends, the likelihood of voter turnout and intensity patterns, the respective narratives of each party, and the traditional red tint of the state, in spite of the provisional presidential results.
Reporters at Politico evidently agree, warning that Democrats might not want to get too bullish on their chances in these races:
To repeat Biden’s feat in a pair of Senate runoffs on Jan. 5, with control of the Senate on the line, the Democratic Party will have to defy a long track record of failure in overtime elections. They’ll need to overcome the entire weight of the Republican Party descending on the state — from organizers and operatives to potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. One of their Senate candidates, Jon Ossoff, would have to make up the nearly 90,000 votes he ran behind the GOP incumbent on Nov. 3...And Democrats will have to manage all of that without Donald Trump on the ballot to motivate their voters — while Republicans energize their base with warnings that electing Ossoff and Democrat Raphael Warnock would allow liberalism — or even socialism — to run amok in Washington...The last time a Georgia Senate race went to a runoff, in 2008, Republican Saxby Chambliss crushed Democrat Jim Martin by 15 percentage points — just a month after he only edged Martin by 3 points in the Obama-fueled November election.
Republicans are accurately pointing out that losing these contests would put Chuck Schumer and Kamala Harris in charge of the Senate -- and the Democratic Party in charge of the entire federal government. Jon Ossoff is running on a steady diet of "unity" treacle, belied by his own previous rhetoric. And Raphael Warnock is trying to hide his radicalism behind a milquetoast facade:
An ordained Baptist minister, Warnock has a theological pedigree that most believers in God would consider to be quite radical. Last week, it was reported that he served as a youth minister when his New York City church invited the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to speak in 1995 and then enthusiastically cheered and praised him. Although Warnock was only a junior pastor at the time and did not necessarily make the decision to host and fete that murderous communist, no one has produced evidence that he objected to the lengthy standing ovation Castro received or to his introduction as “the hero of the struggle of peoples around the world.” The incident at least speaks to Warnock’s judgment and to the radicalism of his ministry. He is no centrist and certainly not someone who can be counted on to speak up when his own allies commit or endorse injustices or even atrocities like the many Castro committed.
Far more troubling is Warnock’s very recent embrace of anti-Israel radicalism. In a 2018 sermon, he portrayed Israel and pro-Israel people in the United States as the cause of the conflict in the Middle East — not the terrorists who have actually caused the problem. He lamented the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, and excused anti-Israel terrorist violence, stating, “Yes, there may have been some folk who were violent, but we oughta know how that works out. We know what it’s like to stand up and have a peaceful demonstration and have the media focus on a few violent uprisings.”...If that isn’t bad enough, Warnock actively embraced the “God damn America” line of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, going on television to defend Wright in 2008 at the very moment when then-Sen. Barack Obama was wisely disowning him. There are further concerns about Warnock, who has been accused of dissuading witnesses from immediately cooperating with police in a child abuse case 18 years ago, right when similar problems within the Catholic Church were first coming to light.
As we mentioned earlier in the week, Warnock refused to say whether he attended the Castro event (he was a pastor at the church that hosted it), and couldn't even be bothered to condemn the dictator's record of subjugation and atrocities. Some of his supporters were angry that he was even asked such questions, but CNN host Jake Tapper fired back:
Fidel Castro was a murderous despot who oppressed the LGBTQ community and many others and pointing that out is actually part of being a news anchor. https://t.co/KTt110m0NO— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 16, 2020
Warnock, tellingly, chose not to answer Tapper's questions. President Trump has been pressed dozens of times to denounce white nationalist groups, which he has done. Will Warnock be forced to answer this question? Speaking of Trump, he weighed in on the Georgia runoffs yesterday:
I strongly stand with Kelly & David. They are both great and MUST WIN! https://t.co/eqr95Lc2aC— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
A generally unified center-right coalition will win these races. A fractured and angry GOP coalition, which is what has been shaping up, could absolutely lose these races. An all-hands-on-deck approach is the right one here. I'll leave you with this: