NEW: Both Georgia Senate Seats Move Toward Democrats as State Becomes “Increasingly Competitive”

July 10, 2020

GOP in “jeopardy” across the board while “Republicans know this is a serious race,” facing poor polling numbers and rising Democratic enthusiasm

ATLANTA — After Sabato’s Crystal Ball yesterday moved the state’s regular Senate election closer to Jon Ossoff, Inside Elections is continuing to prove that that “Georgia is in play” and today moved both of Georgia’s Senate races toward the Democrats.

Senator David Perdue has already sounded the alarm on his increasingly close race — and is backed up by “a preponderance of recent polling” showing Democrats either leading or statistically tied with the “establishment player” senator. And in “yet another sign that Republicans know this is a serious race,” outside groups — including the NRSC – are planning to spend more than $24 million to bail out Perdue. 

Senator Kelly Loeffler and Congressman Doug Collins’ “messier race” has also put Republicans in a rough spot. Loeffler’s stock trading scandal “has done significant damage to her image among voters,” while Collins is still not “able to consolidate GOP support,” forcing the two to continue “battling it out” while polls show each trailing Democratic candidates in head-to-head match-ups.

Meanwhile, Georgia Democrats just broke turnout records in the state primary and are ready to win up and down the ballot in November. Georgia Republicans in both races, however, are stuck in “jeopardy” with an “increasingly competitive” battleground map.

Read more about the latest rating changes from Inside Elections:

Inside Elections: 2020 Senate Overview (July 10, 2020): Democrats Poised to Control the Senate

Georgia. David Perdue (R)

  • While the state’s other seat has received more attention over the last few months considering the special election and the investigation into appointed-Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s stock sales, this seat may be in more jeopardy for the GOP.
  • The NRSC just reserved a couple weeks of TV ad time, and GOP leadership-aligned outside groups One Nation and Senate Leadership Fund announced a combined $21 million in ad reservations  — yet another sign that Republicans know this is a serious race.

Georgia. Kelly Loeffler (R)

  • On the Republican side [in the Senate special election], Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins are battling it out.
  • Loeffler was appointed by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp against the wishes of the president, who preferred Collins. 
  • She also endured negative headlines when a March Daily Beast report found that following a Senate Health Committee briefing on Covid-19 in January, Loeffler sold millions of dollars worth of stocks over the next month while publicly extolling the strength of the soon-to-collapse U.S. economy.
  • The story played out at a critical time when she was largely unknown and undefined by the statewide electorate, and it has done significant damage to her image among voters.
  • However, Collins wasn’t able to consolidate GOP support, so the race continues.
  • This entire race is taking place with the backdrop of an increasingly competitive presidential race where Trump’s 2016 margin has evaporated.
  • The underlying performance of the state has shifted toward Democrats, making the seat more vulnerable.

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