Perhaps now sooner than later, the focus will shift from the election that was to the election still to be in Georgia. Two US Senate seats are up for grabs in the runoff elections, and the stakes are high — control of the Senate, and with it either a check on the Joe Biden administration or an enabling of its progressive agenda.
That’s the theme of David Perdue’s first runoff ad,”Total,” launching today, although Perdue puts those stakes in the starkest terms possible — and using the scariest Democrats, too. Is Halloween over? Via Reagan McCarthy:
“Jon Ossoff would be a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi, AOC, and Chuck Schumer in their bid to horrifically change America,” said Perdue for Senate Campaign Manager Ben Fry. “David Perdue is our last line of defense against efforts to give voting rights to illegal immigrants, defund the police, pack the Supreme Court, and take away private health insurance coverage. We must reject this radical takeover on January 5th — and save America.”
Perdue also followed up with this tweet:
This race is about more than Jon @Ossoff and me. This is a battle for the future of our country.
Democrats want to move America away from our founding principles and turn our country into a socialist state. Help @KLoeffler and me stop them: https://t.co/QIELFpREP4 #GAsen #gapol pic.twitter.com/TN9RvljYQu
— David Perdue (@Perduesenate) November 20, 2020
Part of the strategy behind this theme is to nationalize the race. In order to win, Republicans need to leverage their new-found national advantage, evident in all the down-ballot races in the 2020 election. Democrats should probably nationalize it too, advised Paul Waldman yesterday, but for some reason they seem content to play small ball:
An unprecedented amount of money and attention is pouring into Georgia ahead of the twin runoff elections for the seats now held by Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue, both Republicans, on Jan. 5. Yet amid the coming flood of campaign ads and carefully crafted messages, only one party is truly communicating the stakes of the election.
It’s the Republicans.
They’re the only ones reminding voters just how important this election is, because if Democrats win both seats, they’ll have a Senate majority and Joe Biden might actually be able to implement the legislative agenda he was elected on, while if Republicans win just one of the two, they’ll retain control and will almost certainly bring about an era of unprecedented obstruction.
So what’s happening in Georgia, so far anyway, is a pair of races where the Republicans are communicating the real stakes, and the Democrats seem to want to make the race smaller.
Waldman writes that Democrats need to argue that electing Jon Ossoff and Ralph Warnock would enable Joe Biden to employ the agenda on which he was elected. However, that only works if Biden was actually elected on his liberal-progressive agenda. Even in Georgia, it seems that the only mandate Biden actually had was to not be Donald Trump. Republicans got more votes than Biden did in both of these Senate races, just as the GOP won almost all of the close House races in this election and secured even more state legislatures.
If that’s the case, then it explains why Democrats are trying to distance themselves from Biden and the rest of the Beltway Democrats. And it makes the argument from Perdue and Kelly Loeffler even more solid — that the only way to make sure that the mandate gets fulfilled is to keep the Senate Republican.