Mary Grace von Thron, Campus Carrier deputy news editor
Georgia residents will be voting to elect a member of the United States Senate on Nov 3rd.
The nominees for one of Georgia senate seats are the incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. While Perdue has represented Georgia in the Senate since 2014, Ossoff is not an experienced politician. While some might be turned off by Ossoff’s lack of experience, Eric Sands, associate professor of government said the fact that Ossoff has not been “tainted by the corruption of politics and bought off by lobbyist and special interest groups” allows Ossoff to play the role of the outsider in politics who can bring a fresh perspective to politics.
Perdue has been in the U.S. Senate since 2014. Prior to this, he worked as the CEO of Reebok athletic brand and Dollar General stores. According to his official campaign website, Perdue was an early supporter of President Donald Trump and continues to be one of Trump’s “closest allies in U.S. Senate.”
During his time in the U.S. Senate, Perdue has served on the armed services, banking, budget and foreign relations committees. He is described as a champion for term limits for politicians, reigning in out-of-control spending, growing the economy, and tackling the nation’s debt.
However, due to Perdue’s short time spent on the Senate compared to others and Democrats taking back the house after the 2018 midterm, Perdue has not passed any major pieces of legislation that would greatly effect voters’ opinions on him.
“He doesn’t have a stellar track record to run on in order to try to convince voters to continue to support him” Sands said. “But he is the incumbent and that does give him a lot of advantage in the election because people do tend to favor incumbency and incumbents tend to have fundraising advantages and name recognition.”
According to a poll published by the New York Times, 43% of likely voters in Georgia support Republican Senator David Perdue for Senate, while another 43% of voters support Democrat Jon Ossoff for Senate. 4% of voters plan to vote for Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel, and the other 10% of voters are unsure of who they will vote for.
“The Republicans only hold a couple seat margins on the Democrats right now, and so a swing of just a couple of seats would put the Senate in control of the Democrats,” Sands said. “This has made both of the Georgia Senate races really key races.”
Sands also mentioned the possibility of Georgia turning from a red state to “a purple state”
“We are starting to see competitive elections at all levels in the state of Georgia,” Sands said. “We certainly saw a very tight governor’s race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp in the 2018 midterm when Kemp just barely squeaked out in a very, very tight contest” Sands said.