“More Like a Swing State Than Ever”: Georgia Democrats Gain Momentum Over Flailing Republicans

July 24, 2020

Ratings changes and polling reflect Republicans’ “heavy dose of heartburn” over the state’s increasingly competitive races

ATLANTA — Just in case there was any doubt left, this week once again proved that “Georgia is in play” as “the Peach State [is] looking more like a swing state than ever” across the board.

After newly released polling this week continued the trend showing Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff either leading or statistically tied in recent polls, the Cook Political Report became the latest political prognosticators to confirm Georgia’s competitiveness in a new analysis that moved his race to a “Toss Up.” Cook’s Jessica Taylor noted that “new polling numbers…merits a move into the Toss Up column” alongside “record turnout” in last month’s Democratic primary.

And in Georgia’s special Senate election, both Senator Kelly Loeffler and Congressman Doug Collins spent the week trying to outflank each other on gutting relief for out-of-work Georgians as “Republican infighting” in Congress continues to stall aid. Collins doubled down on his earlier call to “cut back” on critical expanded unemployment relief by suggesting that Congress “do away with it all together” while Loeffler said she’s “not seeing a big need to extend the federal unemployment insurance” despite reports that “more than one in eight workers” in Georgia remain unemployed.

But even though they’re hitting the panic button in Georgia as they flop in the polls and in fundraising, Republicans still won’t give up their reckless agenda that’s made them so toxic with voters.

Read the latest from the GOP’s disastrous week:

Cook Political Report: Almost 100 Days Out, Democrats Are Favored to Take Back the Senate

  • With the Peach State looking more like a swing state than ever, buoyed by growth and diversification in the Atlanta suburbs that are repelled by Trump, it couldn’t be worse timing that there is not one, but two Senate seats up there this cycle. At present, Georgia is the newest state that is giving Republicans a heavy dose of heartburn.
  • New polling numbers from both Democrats and private Republican polling merits a move into the Toss Up column, and ultimately what appears to be driving this race’s change is just a very poor environment here.
  • Jon Ossoff, who ran and lost in a highly-publicized 2017 special election in the 6th District, was able to clear the June primary outright and avoid a runoff, which did show the strength of his campaign and gave him a needed boost to try and catch Perdue.
  • An internal poll this week from his campaign pollster Fred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang shows he has now done that, finding him in a statistical tie with Perdue, 45%-44%, with Biden up 4 points on Trump.
  • The well-respected Yang also writes that, “Among voters who recognize both candidates (61% of the electorate) Jon Ossoff leads by 55% to 39%, which is a strong indication of Ossoff’s ability to grow his positives and thus his vote once he gets better known.”
  • if we follow the money in the race — including a nearly $22.5 investment from SLF and their affiliate One Nation — Georgia is now the second most expensive race the GOP is putting defensive money down on.

AJC: Georgia Senate: Signs point to a tightening Ossoff-Perdue race

  • U.S. Sen. David Perdue has long warned he was in for a tough re-election fight in November. A series of developments on Wednesday offer a pointed reminder just how tight the race is shaping up to be.
  • Perdue’s allies in the National Republican Senatorial Committee aren’t taking Ossoff lightly either.
  • And Ossoff went on MSNBC hours later to trumpet a poll conducted for his campaign by Garin-Hart-Young Research that shows him deadlocked with Perdue. The poll pegs Ossoff at 45% and Perdue at 44% — within the margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
  • “Because Ossoff currently has a name ID deficit with the incumbent, his lead is larger among Georgia voters who know both candidates,” reads the polling memo, “an encouraging sign Ossoff will increase his profile.”

POLITICO: Republican infighting leads to embarrassing setback on aid

  • Senate Republicans and the White House wasted a week at the worst possible time.
  • Amid a series of crises — with 30 million Americans unemployed and coronavirus cases spiking nationally — White House officials and Senate GOP leaders couldn’t even come to an agreement among themselves on a starting point for a new relief package, let alone begin bipartisan talks with Democrats.
  • They clashed over a payroll tax cut, more money for testing, unemployment insurance benefits and a raft of other measures to address the unprecedented economic slowdown.
  • Republicans acknowledged the bickering, even as they tried to downplay the episode.
  • But privately, GOP lawmakers were flabbergasted that they’ll likely have to wait until next week to unveil even an initial proposal.
  • Then there was unemployment assistance. With $600-per-week federal payments to millions of newly unemployed Americans expiring by the end of the month, there was urgency to find a compromise.
  • Yet some Senate Republicans wanted no additional federal support for the out-of-work, saying business owners are complaining that they can’t hire people because the unemployed make more staying home.
  • The stakes could not be higher for Senate Republicans, with Trump sinking in the polls and GOP control of the Senate in doubt. Yet even as they left for the weekend, the discussions between the Republican leadership and White House were ongoing.

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