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Georgia Politics

Jackie Gingrich Cushman on

Georgians, whose votes proved key during the last election in setting the nation's balance of power, are unhappy with the way the country is headed, according to an AARP poll released last week that holds clues as to how candidates in the state can succeed in the coming election.

As background, Georgia's last governor's race, in 2018, was close, with Republican Brian Kemp winning 50.2% to Democrat Stacey Abrams' 48.8% of the vote.

After the election, Abrams said that she did not believe the election was fair and would not concede.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Raphael Warnock won against Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, who had been appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp to complete Sen. Johnny Isakson's term, in a Jan. 5, 2021, runoff. Warnock won 51% to 49%.

The second race for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia was decided in the same runoff. Republican incumbent David Perdue lost to investigative journalist Jon Ossoff, 49% to 51%.

The third race in the runoff was for a statewide Public Service Commission seat, which was won by Republican Lauren "Bubba" McDonald Jr. This leads me to believe that both Perdue and Loeffler could have won the runoff.

 

All this happened right after the 2020 presidential race, which went to Joe Biden over President Donald Trump by 11,779 votes in Georgia. In the time between the general election in November 2020 and the runoff on Jan. 5, 2021, Trump railed against a rigged general election in Georgia, likely suppressing Republican turnout for the runoff.

Perdue and Loeffler joined Trump on stage at rallies, and in the end neither could win enough votes to remain in office. The only Republican winners in those two runoffs were the PAC runners, consultants, media placement experts and ad makers to the two losing candidates.

This year, encouraged by Trump, Perdue ran against Kemp in the primary for governor. Kemp won handily, pulling in 74% of Republican primary voters. Kemp has raised $31.5 million, with $26.2 million coming from Georgia, while Abrams has raised $49.6 million, with only $7 million coming from Georgia. Of that, $1.4 million came from Fair Fight, a political action group that Abrams herself founded. Donors from California have given $10.2 million to Abrams. Georgians don't like outside money coming into their state in an attempt to sway voters. Abrams used the same approach in 2018 and it didn't work then.

So now, to the results of the poll, which was conducted by Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research (July 5-11, 550 likely Georgia voters, +/- 4.4 points).

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