RATINGS CHANGE: Cook Political Report Moves Senate Race Toward Ossoff

July 23, 2020

Race is a now a “Toss Up” as Ossoff continues to gain momentum while Perdue struggles in the polls and fundraising

ATLANTA — Today, with Senator David Perdue outraised by Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff and trailing or statistically tied in recent polls, the Cook Political Report became the latest political prognosticators to confirm that that “the state of Georgia is in play” in a new analysis that moved the race to a “Toss Up.”

The Cook Political Report’s Jessica Taylor notes that Georgia is “looking more like a swing state than ever” with “new polling numbers from both Democrats and private Republican polling” showing evidence that the race is moving in the Democrats’ favor. And the rating change comes on the heels of polling released just yesterday showing both Ossoff and former Vice President Joe Biden opening up narrow leads in the state, with “a strong indication of Ossoff’s ability to grow” his numbers moving forward.

Already, Perdue has been sounding the alarm on his own troubled campaign as Ossoff outraised the incumbent last quarter by over $1.2 million and the state has seen over 750,000 new voters register since November 2018. Following last month’s “record turnout” in the Democratic primary that not only saw a “clear win” for Ossoff but also Democrats outvoting Republicans for the first time in over a decade, it’s more clear than ever that the state and its Senate seats are “in play” this November.

Read more from the Cook Political Report’s Jessica Taylor on Georgia’s newest “Toss Up”:

Cook Political Report: Almost 100 Days Out, Democrats Are Favored to Take Back the Senate

  • With the Peach State looking more like a swing state than ever, buoyed by growth and diversification in the Atlanta suburbs that are repelled by Trump, it couldn’t be worse timing that there is not one, but two Senate seats up there this cycle. At present, Georgia is the newest state that is giving Republicans a heavy dose of heartburn.
  • New polling numbers from both Democrats and private Republican polling merits a move into the Toss Up column, and ultimately what appears to be driving this race’s change is just a very poor environment here.
  • Jon Ossoff, who ran and lost in a highly-publicized 2017 special election in the 6th District, was able to clear the June primary outright and avoid a runoff, which did show the strength of his campaign and gave him a needed boost to try and catch Perdue.
  • An internal poll this week from his campaign pollster Fred Yang of Garin-Hart-Yang shows he has now done that, finding him in a statistical tie with Perdue, 45%-44%, with Biden up 4 points on Trump.
  • The well-respected Yang also writes that, “Among voters who recognize both candidates (61% of the electorate) Jon Ossoff leads by 55% to 39%, which is a strong indication of Ossoff’s ability to grow his positives and thus his vote once he gets better known.”
  • if we follow the money in the race — including a nearly $22.5 investment from SLF and their affiliate One Nation — Georgia is now the second most expensive race the GOP is putting defensive money down on.
  • Democrats are beginning to make buys too — just this week, Duty and Honor, a 501(c)(4) aligned with Majority Forward placed a $5.2 million August TV buy.
  • Abrams’s Fair Fight Action group has also registered over 750,000 new voters since 2018, with nearly half of those being voters of color and younger voters. The primary last month saw record turnout as well for Democrats.


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