Updated: Jan 6
This morning, polls look ok-- generally either leaning Ossoff and Warnock or tied. Of 4.2 million votes expected, an astounding 3.1 million had already voted early, a good sign for the two Democrats. Thousands of new voters, mostly young, have been registered since November. And as of the December 16 FEC reports, fundraising favored the two Democrats:
Loeffler- $92,135,745 (including $23,678,492 self-funded)
On the other hand, the independent spending hideously clogging up the Georgia airwaves favored the two Republicans-- and by a lot. In all about half a billion dollars has been spent on ads alone.
Trumpanzee's rally last night in Dalton was kind of a bust... and, predictably, mostly about his own whiny grievances. (I don’t do rallies for other people. I do them for me.)
This morning, Republican super-pollster Frank Luntz told CNBC that he sees catastrophe looming for the GOP today. "The party is in the process of tearing itself apart and you don’t do that now, when you’re this close to the most important Senate election, literally, in a lifetime. Democrats are unified, Republicans are not and that’s what gives them the advantage"
When Ossoff ran for Congress in a 2017 special election (GA-06), he started running as an inspiring progressive and ended up running as a neoliberal establishment hack. Generating an immense amount of contributions, he ended up losing to a subpar candidate, who wound up as a one-termer-- 134,799 (51.8%) to 125,517 (48.2%). This time he's trying the populist-progressive road again. Everyone I know who knows Warnock tells me he a real-life progressive.
I don't expect Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren approaches from either of these two, but I hope to God-- for the sake of the Democratic Party, not to mention the American people-- that Ossoff doesn't decide his post-victory path to a career turns him into Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly, Mark Warner or Tom Carper-- the worst of the Senate DINOs (now that neither Lieberman nor Biden is in the Senate).
This morning, Sahil Kapur reported that both Ossoff and Warnock have ended their campaigns by "leaning in to a populist economic message... Their calibrated closing arguments centered on a pocketbook pitch to approve $2,000 stimulus payments to Americans, a popular issue backed by Democrats and President Donald Trump but opposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In the days between Christmas and New Year's Day, McConnell torpedoed the checks in the Senate, though they had been approved with a bipartisan vote in the House. 'Their election will put an end to the block in Washington on the $2,000 stimulus check,' Biden said. 'If you send Sen. Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It’s just that simple. The power is literally in your hands.' Ossoff and Warnock are both running aggressively on a promise for $2,000 checks. At the rally, they sharpened the contrast by framing the race as a referendum on whether Congress passes a $15 minimum wage, an infrastructure package and Covid-19 recovery spending they said Republicans will block if they can."
Hopefully, Biden will use his political capital, not just a mealy-mouthed endorsement to make sure this happens. If Ossoff and Warnock voters and donors feel betrayed after the Democrats win the Senate-- like if Manchin, Sinema, Kelly, Warner or Carper get away with torpedoing the populism as they are wont to do-- the stage will be set for a disastrous and well-deserved midterms cycle for the Democrats. They HAVE to deliver for once.