Exclusive – Two top pro-Republican super PACs are taking to the airwaves on Tuesday with their first ads in Georgia‘s twin Senate runoff elections, which will determine whether the GOP holds on to its majority in the Senate or if Democrats will control both houses of Congress in addition to the White House.
The spots by the Senate Leadership Fund, the top outside group backing Senate Republicans, and by its allied group American Crossroads, take aim at Jon Ossoff, the Democratic challenger to GOP Sen. David Perdue, and at Raphael Warnock, the Democrat who’s facing off against appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler. The spots were shared first with Fox News.
The two groups combined are spending $ 9 million to air the commercials, which start running the day before the top pro-Senate Democratic outside group, the Senate Majority PAC, launches its own ads blasting Perdue and Loeffler. The spots charge that the far left is bankrolling both Democratic candidates to advance their “radical” agenda.
The ad by the Senate Leadership Fund accuses Ossoff of “hiding cash from Chinese communists and terrorist sympathizers.” During debates earlier this autumn, Perdue pushed Ossoff to answer questions on payments for documentary work that were made to him by a media company partially owned by the Chinese government.
The commercial by American Crossroads calls Warnock “a radical who compared police officers to gangsters, thugs and bullies.”
Senate Majority PAC announced on Tuesday that it’s launching two new groups – Georgia Honor and The Georgia Way – which will start running spots that charge that Perdue and Loeffler profited off the coronavirus pandemic when it first swept the nation earlier this year – and claiming that both senators blocked COVID-19 relief aid that would help the state’s suffering small businesses and workers.
The group says it will spend $ 4.5 million to run TV commercials and an additional $ 500,000 to go up with digital ads, starting on Wednesday.
“Georgia’s Republican ticket is made up of a pair of corrupt, out-of-touch politicians who profited off of the pandemic and can’t be trusted in Washington,” charged Senate Majority PAC president J.B. Poersch.
The current balance of power for the next Senate — coming out of this month’s elections — is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. That means the Democrats must win both of Georgia’s runoff elections to make it a 50-50 Senate, in which Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote, giving her party a razor-thin majority in the chamber.
In Georgia, where state law dictates a runoff if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote, Perdue narrowly missed avoiding a runoff. He currently stands at 49.75% in the vote count. Ossoff, trails by roughly 87,000 votes.
In the other race, Loeffler captured nearly 26% of the vote in a whopping 20-candidate special election to fill the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson. Warnock won nearly 33% of the vote.