Reduction Package deal Grows as Marketing campaign Challenge in Georgia Senate Races
The $ 900 billion pandemic relief package, which President Trump was late in signing Sunday night, gained momentum as an issue in the Georgia Senate runoff election on Monday.
“Aid is on the way,” Senator Kelly Loeffler tweeted Monday morning, welcoming the stimulus package with its billions of dollars in distribution of vaccines, schools and other beneficiaries and a payment of $ 600 to millions of Americans. She and her incumbent, David Perdue, released a statement Sunday evening thanking the president for the final approval of the stimulus funds to avoid Mr Trump upset the fate of the bill last week by calling it “disgrace” demanding that direct payments be increased to $ 2,000.
At the same time, the two Democratic candidates – Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock – on Monday criticized the Republican-led Senate for months of dragging its feet on the bill. They called the $ 600 payment too small and took up the president’s request for larger payments to strengthen their position.
“David Perdue doesn’t care about us, and $ 600 is a joke,” Mr. Ossoff told several hundred people at an outdoor rally with Mr. Warnock in DeKalb County, one of the suburbs of Atlanta, has become increasingly diverse over the past decade.
“You are sending me and Reverend Warnock to the Senate and we will put money in your pocket,” said Mr. Ossoff. He faces Mr. Perdue in the runoff election while Mr. Warnock challenges Ms. Loeffler.
Mr. Perdue has run ads attacking Mr. Ossoff for calling the $ 600 relief checks a “joke” when the President also called them far too small. Mr Ossoff wrote on Twitter that Mr Perdue did not even endorse a first round of direct payments last spring.
With election day in Georgia a little over a week away, Mr. Trump’s initial refusal to sign the stimulus package had put Ms. Loeffler and Mr. Perdue in a delicate position. Both had backed the move with a direct payment of $ 600, but both are strong supporters of Mr. Trump and risk pissing him off if they publicly broke with him about the need to sign the bill.
“The president continues to put both incumbent Republican senators in tough spots during a highly competitive Senate runoff,” said Bill Crane, a longtime Georgia political agent and analyst who has worked for candidates in both parties.
Despite the confusion, the president tweeted Sunday that he would make a final campaign appearance on behalf of the two senators in Dalton, Georgia, a carpet-making center in the north. The two races have attracted national attention and a record inflow of money because of their potentially crucial role in determining the balance of power in the Senate.
If both Mr Ossoff and Mr Warnock win, there will be a 50:50 split, with control of the chamber shifting to the Democrats as Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris is able to break ties.
The fate of the two senators in the unusual double runoff ballot could be attributed to turnout in Dalton and the rest of northwest Georgia, a conservative area where Mr Trump received 70 percent or more of the vote in most counties. His decision to visit the region where he continues to be popular seemed aimed at last-minute motivation among Republican voters.
The election appeared to be aimed at a record turnout in a runoff election. 2.1 million Georgians had already cast ballots either in places with early voting or by postal vote. The largest turnout to date has been in the democratic areas around Atlanta.
Mr Crane said he saw benefits for the Democrats in the early voting, voter enthusiasm and money. “The Democrats are killing postal votes,” Crane said, noting that, according to an analysis of the Atlanta Journal’s constitution, 76,000 new voters had registered since the November election.
“That speaks again for enthusiasm and would play for the democratic side,” he said.
Republicans have raised concerns that Mr. Trump’s repeated complaints about “rigged elections” – a false claim he made to explain his loss to Joseph R. Biden Jr. – will deter voters in their party from voting to decide for the runoff election in the Senate. Mr Crane said news from far-right commentators about electoral fraud continued in the state and some Georgians were confused about whether their votes would count. “Georgia is still at odds over whether we should vote at all,” he said.
With the early voting period going through December, Mr Warnock and Mr Ossoff’s campaigns on Monday focused on encouraging voters to vote. Several rappers performed at their drive-in event in the parking lot of a Baptist church, including Shelley FKA DRAM, JID, Tokyo Jetz and BRS Kash.
Mr. Ossoff, who runs a documentary production company, and Mr. Warnock, the pastor of a historic church in Atlanta, encouraged their supporters to go to early voting venues or put their ballots in drop boxes. “The whole country is watching voters in Georgia to see what we will do at this historic moment,” Ossoff said.
Both Mr Ossoff and Mr Warnock – as well as Democrats on Capitol Hill – viewed the economic reviews as a profitable issue and had taken up both the lower payments and the president’s opposition to the stimulus package to increase their chances in Georgia. On Monday, hours before the House of Representatives decided to move ahead with the $ 2,000 stimulus checks requested by Mr. Trump, Ossoff tweeted, “@Perduesenate, when are you going to sign $ 2,000 aid checks for Georgians?”