Democrats in Georgia Senate contests take in more than $200M

Politics

ATLANTA (AP) — The Democrats running for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats each raised more than $100 million over two months, a massive haul that eclipsed campaign contributions to their Republican opponents and reflects the high stakes of the twin contests.

Jon Ossoff, who is taking on Sen. David Perdue, took in more than $106 million from Oct. 15 through Dec. 16, according to his latest campaign finance report. Raphael Warnock, who is trying to unseat Sen. Kelly Loeffler, was close behind with a little over $103 million.

Perdue reported $68 million over the same two-month span, with Loeffler taking in just under $64 million. Three of the campaigns reported their financial data on Thursday. Loeffler submitted hers a day earlier.

The two races will determine which party controls the Senate — and likely how ambitious President-elect Joe Biden can be with his agenda.

If Republicans win one race, they will maintain a narrow majority, and the chamber will serve as a bulwark against Democratic legislation. But if Democrats carry both, the balance will be 50-50 —with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris delivering tie-breaking votes. That will likely enable Biden to enact a more ambitious agenda, assuming he can keep fellow Democrats on board.

Georgia’s two runoff races kicked off in November after Perdue and Loeffler failed to get more than 50 percent of the vote on Election Day. Early voting has already started for the Jan. 5 election.

“We’re humbled by the grassroots support and generosity that continues to power Reverend Warnock’s campaign to represent all Georgians in the U.S. Senate,” Jerid Kurtz, Warnock’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

Ossoff’s campaign said it was proud of its voter turnout work. Loeffler’s campaign did not release a statement. A text message to a spokesman for Perdue on Christmas Day was not immediately returned.

The fundraising figures far surpass the record-shattering $57 million that Democrat Jaime Harrison raised in one quarter in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in South Carolina in November. Harrison lost that race.

And they are in addition to tens of millions of more dollars being spent on the January runoffs by outside groups. Previous campaign finance disclosures for the Georgia races suggest Republican outside groups have a fundraising advantage.

The money has fueled a barrage of advertising and door-to-door canvassing.

Ossoff and Warnock have already spent more than $179 million, according to their latest disclosures. As of Dec. 16, they had about $40 million on hand for the campaigns’ homestretch.

Perdue and Loeffler have spent more than $106 million. They reported about $37 million on hand at the close of the reporting period.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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