ATLANTA — Democrats in Georgia’s high-stakes runoff election Tuesday are doing what their counterparts in other competitive Senate races didn’t do: They’re leaning in to a populist economic message and embracing the prospect of a Democratic-led Senate.
The potential to flip the chamber has turned what could have been a sleepy January runoff into a bonanza of ad spending that has left residents here exhausted. If Democrats win both seats they’ll capture the Senate. If either Sen. Kelly Loeffler or former Sen. David Perdue win, Republicans will remain in charge.
President-elect Joe Biden, the first Democrat to win a presidential race in Georgia since 1992, held a rally with the two Democratic candidates, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, on the eve of the election Monday. Unless they win, he’ll be the first president since 1989 to take office without his party controlling both houses of Congress.
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.