Two runoff races underway for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats have Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff trying to oust Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Because the outcome will decide which party controls the Senate, the nation is watching.
But what do we really know about the four candidates?
Two of them are incumbents. Loeffler was appointed to the job one year ago, which made Perdue the state’s senior senator before he finished his first, six-year term. Because neither received more than 50% of the vote in November-- Loeffler didn’t even get the most votes in her special election -- they must win runoff elections currently underway to keep their seats.
Their opponents are Warnock, the pastor of a historic Black church in Atlanta, and Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker.
Because control of the U.S. Senate is in the hands of Georgia voters, campaign money is flooding into the state and big-name politicians, including President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden, have appeared at rallies.
Between the four candidates and political-action committees, almost $500 million has been raised. That money buys thousands of hours of TV commercials saturating the airwaves across the state as well as radio, newspaper and social media advertising.
That saturation marketing gives only brief and targeted information the candidates and their surrogates want you to see and not a broad look at who they are and where they stand. In fact, much of it is targeting the opponent’s positions -- sometimes with dubious or debunked information -- and conveys slogans more than policy positions.
News4Georgia is trying to help voters learn more about the people behind the snippets we see. Our political intern for the fall, Tali Nolan, researched dozens of sources to try and present a fuller picture of who these four candidates are and, more importantly, what they have said about 18 issues facing our country. We hope it helps.