Georgia Senate Candidates Debate One Last Time

by Chase Martaus

Nov. 7, 2020

The candidates for Georgia’s Senate race held a debate on December 6 in what might be the only debate prior to the runoff elections on January 5. 

 

The Republican party might have been hurt by Senator David Perdue’s refusal to show up for his debate with Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue would have had the opportunity to answer questions about his handling of the coronavirus, as this comes just two days after Georgia reported a record number of positive coronavirus cases on Friday. 

 

Perdue’s decision to skip the debate means that there will likely not be a debate between the two prior to the Runoff elections. Ossoff addressed the situation with those in attendance as well as those watching on GPB, calling Perdue a coward and telling the Georgia citizens that the Rep. Senator feels entitled to their vote. 

 

Though Perdue decided to skip the debates, Georgia Southern Professor Dr. Joshua Kennedy does not see that affecting his race too much.

 

"I do wonder why Perdue chose not to attend the debate," said Kennedy. “Because polls show him behind, this would be a chance to make up ground, but maybe he feels like it is safer politically to play defense and run out the clock.”

Graphics by Roxanne Cortner

Republican Kelly Loeffler and Rev. Raphael Warnock  debated for an hour in the Atlanta Press Club, where coronavirus response was one of the main topics. 

 

The runoffs were originally scheduled for December 1,2020, but Secretary of State, Brad Raffensburger moved them to January 5, 2021 because of the voting recounts in the state. Raffensburger’s staff did not respond to an interview request.

Loeffler blamed Democrats for not passing out congressional aid for the virus, while Warnock was critical of  how Loeffler follows coronavirus guidelines

 

Loeffler was appointed as the successor to Johnny Isakson by Governor Kemp after Isakson stepped down from his spot in 2019. She was asked multiple times whether or not the election was rigged, as stated by President Trump.

 

Dr. Lara Wessell, a political science professor at Georgia Southern, feels that the electorates are the ones who are affected most. “The biggest impact that all of this has had on the state of Georgia is that there has been an increase in the distrust among we the people,” said Wessel.

 

The battle between Loeffler and Warnock and Perdue vs Ossoff will determine who has the majority in the house. As of Sunday, December 6, 2020, the polls have Warnock leading Loeffler 49 percent to 47 percent, while Ossoff currently leads Perdue 48.7 percent to 47.9 percent.

 

A sweep for the Georgia Democratic candidates will give the Democrats a  majority in the house since Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaker. 

Graphics by Roxanne Cortner
Forest Redd discusses the runoff and what it means for the future