ATLANTA — Some of the luster is off the Georgia runoff because until 2021, it will not determine control of the U.S. Senate.
But don’t tell that to one Republican Florida senator who is spending a lot of time trying to persuade Georgia voters.
“Well, first off, it would be nice to have a majority. But we have to win this seat because we’re going to have election in two years; and you don’t know how many seats we’re going to be able to win there. We have to win now here,” said U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Florida, R.
Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson says there is urgency for the Democrats – but for another reason.
“We didn’t like that defeat we suffered just a week ago. We had not one Democrat on the statewide ballot win. We have a Democrat in the runoff. So, I think Democrats are more motivated than ever to go back to the polls to make sure we begin the process of getting ready for 2024.”
Republican strategist Brian Robinson estimates that somewhere between $50 million and $100 million total could be spent by both sides. That’s on top of the more than $250 million dollars already spent.
“A runoff is going to favor the operation that can quickly raise the most money and pour that into a ground and messaging operation in a very large electorate. It’s going to take a lot of money to be effective here, and it’s going to be more of a challenge to raise money in this atmosphere because it looks like control of the Senate is already determined”
It’s also going to take a get-out the vote operation. Republicans will be using parts of the machine built by Gov. Brian Kemp, the leading vote-getter in last week’s election. Democrats will be counting on the grass-roots operation that propelled Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff to runoff wins two years ago.
State Sen. Carolyn Hugley, Columbus, D, said, “It is going to be an all hands-on deck proposition. Democrats are going to be working through all of our avenues to encourage people to push, pull and drag people to go to the polls.”