BY: BRIANA STEWART, ABC NEWS
(WASHINGTON) — Following President-elect Joe Biden’s projected win in Georgia, Democrats are hoping voters will be inspired to turn out for the Democratic challengers in the two Senate runoff elections.
“What we’re feeling for the first time in four years is hope — is the recognition that we’ve trumped the party. We have the opportunity to define the next chapter in American history, to lead out of this crisis, but only by winning the Senate seats,” Georgia Democratic senatorial candidate Jon Ossoff told ABC’s “This Week” Co-anchor Martha Raddatz.
Ossoff faces Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Raphael Warnock is up against Sen. Kelly Loeffler in races that could determine the balance of power in the Senate.
Biden is the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in 28 years. While run-offs in the Peach State have historically favored Republicans, Democrats are hoping Biden’s win could help inspire Democratic voters and give Ossoff and Warnock the momentum they need to win the race on Jan. 5.
Tharon Johnson, senior adviser for Biden for President Georgia, told reporters on a press call that the state campaign focused heavily on mobilizing and engaging Black voters in metro-Atlanta areas and in rural South Georgia. He also said the campaign made inroads with disaffected suburban voters.
Johnson told reporters that they can expect to see the same level of outreach from Democrats for the Senate runoffs.
Ossoff said Sunday that he’s not worried about galvanizing voters in the run-offs, despite getting roughly 100,000 fewer votes than Biden in the general election.
“This was the closest Senate race in the country,” Ossoff said. “That really reflects the power of Black turnout here and the determination of Black voters in Georgia to make a change in this country,” he added.
Since the beginning of the run-offs. Loeffler and Perdue have been running a joint ticket that their campaigns are calling, “save our majority” and drawing some high-profile Republicans to campaign for them. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit on their behalf this coming week.
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