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Today’s US Senate Runoff Elections In Georgia Will Determine Control Of The Senate -- Here’s What To Watch For

Voters enter a polling station at the Zion Baptist Church on January 5, 2021 in Marietta, Georgia.
Voters enter a polling station at the Zion Baptist Church on January 5, 2021 in Marietta, Georgia.

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Campaigns and outside groups are making a final push to turn out election-weary Georgians whose votes will determine control of the U.S. Senate, from a crush of text messages and television ads to dueling visits from President-elect Joe Biden and outgoing President Donald Trump.

More than 2.5 million people—about half the turnout of last month’s presidential election—had already cast their ballots early, in person or by absentee ballot, by Wednesday morning.

With margins in the Jan. 5 runoffs expected to be tight, the campaigns for Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are all focused on mobilizing voters.

That means everything from individual voter contacts urging early voting, which ends Thursday, to last-minute campaign stops from national headliners trying to boost Election Day turnout. The Democrats’ campaigns announced that Biden would campaign Monday, Jan. 4 in Atlanta with Ossoff and Warnock. Trump already had announced plans to rally Monday evening, just hours before polls open, with the Republican senators in the north Georgia town of Dalton. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, meanwhile, will come to Savannah on Sunday.

Runoff elections historically draw a much lower turnout than general elections, and in Georgia they have favored Republican candidates in the last decade or so. But in his unique election—with nation attention, money pouring in and control of the Senate at stake—the normal rules don’t seem to apply.

Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about the election and the lead-up to it from Georgia Public Broadcasting journalist Sarah Rose. What do you want to know about this special election? We want to hear from you! Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

With files from the Associated Press


Sarah Rose, journalist for Georgia Public Broadcasting and author of the Battleground Ballot Box Blog; they tweet at @MaybeSarahRose