But Democrats have been more prone to say their candidates inspire them, and have emphasized the importance of candidates being not only a means to attaining the majority but people who understand, and represent, the party’s constituencies. Raphael Warnock, running against Loeffler, is the Black preacher at Atlanta’s storied Ebenezer Baptist Church. Jon Ossoff, running against Perdue, is 33 years old, and has made a point of targeting the youth vote. Democrats will need record turnout from both Black voters and young voters to capture both of Georgia’s Senate seats.
Republicans may be as fired up about the Democratic candidates—just for different reasons. In interviews at early voting sites on Wednesday, more than a dozen GOP voters evinced little personal affinity for Loeffler and Perdue, but they could barely contain their aversion to Ossoff and Warnock. A win for Loeffler and Perdue may ultimately rest not on how much Georgians like them, but how much they dislike the other guys.
“I honestly don’t care for the ones on the other side, and what they stand for,” said Alan Vincent, who was exiting a polling location in Douglasville, 20 miles west of downtown Atlanta. “Perdue seems to be a stand-up guy. I don’t know about Kelly. I just know that I don’t want Warnock and the other guy in there—I just don’t want them in there.”