Perdue vs. Ossoff: What You Need to Know About the First Georgia Senate Battle

The sunrise of January 5, 2021, will bring up two exciting Senate races to follow in Georgia because no candidate could get 50% of the votes in the general elections, resulting in the runoff elections.

As Georgia runoff elections will decide the Senate majority, both of these races have equal importance.

The first Senate race in Georgia will be a contest between Republican Senator David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. The other race is between Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock. 

As the stage was all set for the Perdue vs. Ossoff contest, David Perdue of the GOP has quarantined himself following exposure to a COVID infected individual. This can result in a significant vote bank moving towards the Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff, as he gets a last-minute advantage over Republicans due to the quarantined nominee.  

Perdue is the incumbent Senator and has come neck to neck with the Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, a progressive Democrat who has a record in investigative journalism.

What is the history of these nominees, and what are their takes on the significant policy options? What are the polls predicting for this important race? Let’s explore.

Perdue vs. Ossoff: What You Need to Know About the First Georgia Senate Battle

David Perdue: A Story of Businessman turned Politician

Republican Senator David Perdue was appointed to the Senate seat for the first time when Senator Johnny Isakson resigned due to his deteriorating health issues. 

Born and raised in Macon, Perdue is the first cousin to the former Georgia governor and incumbent Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Perdue holds a Bachelor’s in Arts in industrial engineering and a Master’s in operation management from Georgia Tech. 

Before entering politics, Perdue served as the CEO of Dollar General and Reebok. He also held positions as a senior manager in various companies.

In November’s Perdue vs. Ossoff battle, Perdue was the one on top with 49.7% of votes but just fell short by a small margin of 0.3%  of the votes, resulting in a runoff election.

Perdue: A Conventional Republican with Conservative Ideological Policy Approaches 

The most important thing that could provide voters with an insight into a candidate is his stance on various progressive issues. Let’s see which policy approaches Perdue wants to pursue in the United States.

  • In healthcare, David Perdue has shown support for the PROTECT act, although the act has been criticized for its various flaws. Perdue wants to reduce the price of prescription drugs while also putting an end to surprise billing.

  • Perdue is a supporter of tax cuts, which is not surprising considering he is a businessman. Perdue believes that instead of imposing more taxes, the government should widen the tax circle to increase revenue. In this way, the economy could be spurred in the future. He believes that tariff barriers should be removed from international trade.

  • Perdue does not support gun control regulations. 

  • Abortion is one of the significant issues in the United States, and Perdue supports the so-called pro-life opinion. Like many other Republicans, he believes that abortion should be banned in the country. 

  • Opposing Donald Trump, Perdue has always advised wearing masks and helped pass the CARE Act, providing billions of dollars in relief packages to states, including Georgia. 

  • Regarding national security and immigration, Perdue opines that the United States should increase its defense spending and continue its international presence in the Middle East and other regions. 

  • He is also a supporter of the Mexico wall project. An anti-LGBTQ Perdue stands with Donald Trump in denying climate change and spending on developing renewable energy sources. 

perdue vs. ossoff election infographic

Jon Ossoff: An Investigative Journalist Cum Politician:

Atlanta-born Jon Ossoff is also keen on entering the United States Senate and contributing his role in framing the country’s policies. Ossoff is the CEO of a media company that produces investigative documentaries. 

A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Services, Ossoff also holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics. This is his second time running for Congress, as he previously lost to Karen Handel from Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. 

Ossoff has also served as the security aide to Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson. 

Perdue vs. Ossoff: What You Need to Know About the First Georgia Senate Battle

Ossoff, A Progressive Democrats, Policy Approaches 

Ossoff is very popular among Georgia’s progressive circles due to his support for progressive issues such as abortion and LGBTQ rights. 

  • Ossoff is a supporter of public health insurance and wants to contribute his role in strengthening the Affordable CARE Act

  • Ossoff is an advocate of direct emergency relief for people during the pandemic.

  • Contrary to Perdue, Ossoff believes in lowering taxes for the poor and increasing them for the rich.

  • Ossoff believes that the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 was ineffective and incompetent. 

  • He thinks that the government should use military resources to improve its healthcare capacity.

  • He also supports ending the unethical trade, labor, and environmental practices by foreign competitors. He believes in strengthening the domestic supply chain by reducing Chinese products’ dependency. 

  • As far as the second amendment is concerned, Ossoff supports gun regulation while he also believes that the sale of semi-automatic guns and high-capacity magazines should be banned.

  • A firm supporter of climate change initiatives and LGBTQ rights, Ossoff thinks that United States borders should be opened to immigrants while also giving citizenship to those who are already here. 

Libertarian Nominee, a Major Reason for the Perdue vs. Ossoff Runoff Election:

Libertarian Shane Hazel prevented both the major party candidates from getting the majority. However, according to the runoff election rules, only the top two contenders of the general election contest in the runoff election. S,o in the absence of the Libertarian candidate, his vote bank will play a significant role in deciding the race.

So, it will be a purely Perdue vs. Ossoff contest. According to the latest numbers of the Associated Press, Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel got almost 115,000 votes. So, any candidate who wins this vote bank will eventually run away with the seat.

In the absence of David Perdue from the election scene due to quarantine these days, the Democratic nominee has ample chance to persuade this vote bank. 

The partisan turnout will also be important as Republican supporters may not vote at the end of the day, considering that Trump is already out of the White House race.

Polls and Predictions: What Do the Numbers Tell About the Possible Winner

According to Georgia’s secretary of state, more than 2.5 million people have cast early votes. This has already started raising concerns of the Republicans as Republicans, in general, remain critical of the early voting.

Consider the following numbers to analyze who is ahead in Perdue vs. Ossoff race.

  • The state of Georgia made substantial efforts to get people to register their votes and cast their ballots. Due to this effort, 60,000 people who have not cast their ballots in the general election have already cast using mail-in ballots. The inclination of these 60,000 people can also play a significant role in the election.
  • The Survey USA poll conducted among the voters of the general elections concluded that 1 percent of Perdue voters have diverted towards Ossoff this time. Similarly, three percent of Ossoff voters have now decided to vote for his rival.

  • Perdue has lost his advantage of 88,000 more votes from the general election by 0.3 points in polls. FiveThirtyEight has compiled data from many independent polling sites, showing that Perdue leads by 0.4 percent points against the Democratic challenger. In the most recent survey, Perdue has a lead of one percentage point, within the margin of error.  

  • Insider Advantage surveyed 500 voters, of which 49 percent will vote for Perdue while 48 percent for Ossoff. The poll also shows that Perdue’s support among black voters has declined while more white voters have started supporting him.

  • USA/WXIA Poll surveyed 691 voters, 51 percent of whom are supporting Ossoff while 46 percent are supporting Perdue. 

Stakes are high as whoever wins Georgia wins the United States Senate, and both parties are eager about it. 

The race between Republican Senator David Perdue and Democratic Jon Ossoff is one of Georgia’s two important runoff elections. 

The Perdue vs. Ossoff race may get closer than the other race in the state.

Perdue’s recent quarantine gives Ossoff a chance to capitalize on the gap in the Perdue vs. Ossoff race and win as many undecided voters as he could. 

Only then will he be able to bridge the gap that was present in the November 3 elections.

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