If you thought political ad season was anywhere near over, think again, said University of Georgia political science professor Charles S. Bullock III. 

“We’re going see more [ad] money being spent on these two contests than anything we’ve seen before,” Bullock said. “This is unprecedented. There’s never been a situation where a runoff election weeks after a main election would decide who would be poised to control the [US] Senate.” 

Incumbent Republican senator David Perdue is facing a normal re-election race against Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff. After she was appointed last year to succeed retiring senator Johnny Isakson, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler will square off against Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock in a runoff of a special election. 

Bullock cited the all-too-familiar challenge for the runoff candidates to get people to vote for them a second time, when turnout typically drops. Candidates’ bases will be key, but Loeffler also faces an additional challenge, he said. 

“She has got to try to reunite Republicans behind her,” he said. “The one million or so voters who supported [Doug] Collins may be reluctant to support her. They may still be angry over the attack ads she ran, so she’s got to convince voters to forgive what she said about him.” 

While the runoff campaigns are in high swing, the presidential election is winding down as the state conducts its vote recount in light of Democrat Joe Biden’s close margins with the Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump. The recount is expected to last until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. 

As Bullock had previously indicated, the presidential, senate and some state house races indicate the close two-party competitions going on across the state. Previously, two runoffs occurred in 2016, and with the three this year, Bullock explained that five of the 11 last runoffs have occurred in the last two election cycles. 

For more on this story, see the Nov. 19 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website.

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