“Georgia is Changing”: GOP’s Outlook Keeps Getting Worse in Both Senate Races

July 17, 2020

Fundraising woes leave Republicans dodging uncomfortable questions as outside groups struggle to bail out sinking campaigns

ATLANTA — Georgia Republicans’ chances in each of the Peach State’s Senate races have been trending downward for months, and this week was no exception. Take it from the Senator who already admitted that “Georgia is in play”: “Georgia is changing” — and becoming a problem for Republicans.

Not only were GOP Senate contenders in both races outraised this week by Democratic challengers, but incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler couldn’t even outraise her intraparty rival in her “GOP feud,” forcing her to rely even more on her millions to hold the seat. Loeffler also refused to answer questions about key issues on her statewide tour and is now being forced to go nuclear on rival Congressman Doug Collins in a desperate bid to get back above water.

Senator David Perdue didn’t fare much better this week. After refusing to follow Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff’s lead and commit to the “Isakson Standard” of putting his assets in a blind trust, Perdue then left a reporter “baffled” during an interview in which he claimed that “things in Georgia are going as well as they could be expected” on coronavirus. In case you needed a reminder, they are not. And he’s still refusing to answer whether he will support extending critical expanded unemployment relief (which he’s called “a hindrance”) or how he plans to protect 1.8 million Georgians with pre-existing conditions if the GOP’s reckless lawsuit succeeds despite a new fact check making it clear Republicans have no working plan to do so.

With Republicans stumbling and the NRSC, the Trump campaign, and Mitch McConnell-aligned outside groups spending millions in the state to defend their vulnerable incumbents, it’s more clear than ever that Georgia is the state to watch in 2020 — and Republicans know it.

Read the latest coverage from Republicans’ messy week:

Washington Post: GOP senators in close races mislead on preexisting conditions

  • The president’s doublespeak — voicing support for these protections while asking the Supreme Court to strike them down — is spreading into some battleground Senate races this year.
  • It’s a classic case of buyer beware: Look under the hood…and you’ll find a car without an engine.
  • Three and a half years [after Trump took office] no replacement plan has emerged from the administration and Republicans in Congress hardly agree on what it would look like — or how to preserve the protections for preexisting health conditions.
  • Experts say [an alternative GOP proposal] does not offer the same level of protection for preexisting conditions as the ACA, and they warn that millions of Americans could lose their health coverage if the ACA falls and the Protect Act is the only replacement.
  • Voters deserve straight answers when their health care is on the line, especially in the middle of a deadly pandemic.
  • [Senate Republicans] have voted to end the Affordable Care Act. People with preexisting conditions would have been left exposed because of those votes; insurers could have denied coverage or jacked up prices for sick patients.
  • Four Pinocchios all around.

11Alive: Stock trading curbs sought in Georgia’s US Senate race

  • Should federal officials have to place their stock portfolios in blind trusts? 
  • It’s emerging as a campaign issue in the US Senate race in Georgia – after Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler traded stocks days after receiving a confidential briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • A few days before she showed up at the state capitol on March 2 to qualify to run in a special election this year, Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s stock portfolio was very active.  
  • Records showed she and her husband Jeff Sprecher, whose company owns the New York Stock Exchange, sold stock valued between $1.3 million and $3.1 million before the coronavirus pandemic tanked the market.
  • In the same period, records show Sen. David Perdue purchased stock valued at between $63,000 and $245,000 in Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company working to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
  • Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff says even that much knowledge is too much for members of Congress. He’s running against Perdue for one of the two senate seats up for grabs this year.
  • “(Perdue) has promised to stop trading individual stocks. But that’s not good enough. He has refused to give up control of his portfolio. He should meet the Isakson standard,” Ossoff told 11Alive News Monday.
  • Johnny Isakson was the US Senator that Loeffler replaced in January 2020. As chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, Isakson reportedly put almost all of his stock in a blind trust.

WSJ: Democrats—and Some Republicans—See Signs of Political Realignment in the South

  • Rapid population growth in liberal-leaning cities, diversifying suburbs and increasing support for protests against racial injustice across several Southern states have Democrats hopeful that they can improve on their 2016 performance in the region.
  • In Georgia, Democrats hope to build on recent gains, including winning a few House seats in recent years. In 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams lost the governor’s race to Republican Brian Kemp but received 48.83% of the vote —the best a Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate had done since 1998.
  • Even some Georgia Republicans said Ms. Abrams showed Democrats’ potential in the state when they can energize millennials, women and minorities.
  • Ms. Abrams’s political organization, Fair Fight Action, estimates that many of the state’s newly registered voters are from Democratic-leaning demographic groups.
  • “Georgia is changing, there’s no question about that,” said Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.).


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