Democrat Challenger Jon Ossof has now upended incumbent Republican David Perdue in the race for Senate in the state of Georgia. That means a state once thought to be deep red, a place where the most prominent confederate monuments reside, has now completely flipped over to blue.
It was called earlier this morning that the other Dem, Rev. Raphael Warnock, defeated the other GOP incumbent, Kelly Loeffler in the other Georgia Senate special election. That means the Senate will now be 50-50 in party split, with ties to be broken by Democratic Vice-President Kamala Harris.
As we saw early the odds were favoring Ossoff by -4000 per Sports Betting Dime. Having lost his 2017 campaign for the House of Representatives, Ossof was able to come back strong and pull out a victory on his second attempt to get to Washington, D.C. Although it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll win by a margin big enough to avoid the automatic recount trigger. The 33-year-old Atlanta native is up comfortably, with 98% of the vote in, but he’s still not up by more than 0.5% of the vote.
It was a tight race to say the least, but it’s worth noting how much Ossof seems to have learned since his first and ultimately failed attempt to gain public office. During a feature on FOX News Channel, right around Christmastime, Ossof thanked the outlet, infamous for being openly hostile to Democrats, for the free publicity he gave them.
It was an astute move, as where the maneuvers where he essentially gave Perdue the rope he needed where he would politically hang himself.
Perdue failed to show for the only debate and that saw Ossof then go up against an empty podium. That symbolic act helped him greatly. And on the eve of the election, FOX News’ Bret Baier played a clip of Ossof pointing out that Perdue is and always has been in favor of outsourcing jobs to China. Baier gave Perdue a chance to answer those remarks.
He responded by affirming them, and then going to say that he won by 8 points in his first election, 2 points in his second and that he just missed the cut-off by a few thousand points in the third.
Basically, Perdue said nothing except, yeah, we did it, we’re going to keep doing it, but the people will vote against their own interests anyway, so it doesn’t matter. Hubris was Perdue’s fatal flaw. Also, he seemed blissfully ignorant of what those numbers and what that overall trend was saying about his fate.
His loss was foretold, and he didn’t seem to get it. In two weeks, the Trump era officially ends, and with it the Democrats will have control over the Executive and Legislative branches of government.
Now things can actually get done. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the self-proclaimed Grim Reaper because of all the bills that he takes pride in killing, he’s in the minority now. His reign of terror, of blocking everything in sight, is now over.
All Senate Committee Chairs will be Dems as well. Still, don’t think this is going to be some kind of wave of radical far left legislation. Things will only go so far as the most conservative Democrats, people like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will allow.
Still Georgia has shown us something here- maybe it’s less red vs blue states, and more extreme voter suppression states vs blue states; until eventually the numbers are enough to overcome the suppressive tactics. Look at Texas and North Carolina next, in this regard.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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