Georgia Voters Choosing Rev. Raphael Warnock Over Lady Who Compared Herself To Attila The Hun
Let's talk about who we'd love to see as the next senator from Georgia, Rev. Ralphael Warnock. A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday showed Warnock leading November's Senate special election, currently a 21-person tractor-trailer pileup on I-75. He's ahead of incumbent Republican and moderately successful human impersonator Kelly Loeffler, 31 to 23 percent. Rep. Doug Collins is third at 22 percent, so he could still knock Loeffler out of the race and the seat she never actually won. Matt Lieberman is cratering with 9 percent of the vote.
Former President Jimmy Carter, who was once governor of Georgia while simultaneously a Democrat, endorsed Warnock Tuesday, as well. It was a good day for the brother.
From 11 Alive:
"During these difficult times, our nation must continue to march towards progress while holding fast to our American values of equality, justice and economic opportunity for all. Reverend Warnock knows the struggles Georgians are facing in this unique crisis — families losing health care, shuttered rural hospitals and record unemployment — all in the middle of a pandemic," President Carter said. "I am pleased to support his campaign to be our next U.S. Senator, because I know he will be the voice Georgians need in Washington to ensure every child and every family has an opportunity to thrive."
Warnock is senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. He presided over the late Rep. John Lewis's funeral. He's also a native of Savannah, Georgia, one of the greatest cities on Earth, so that should settle the whole thing, but I guess we still have to have an election.
There's more good news from that Quinnipiac poll: Joe Biden is leading Donald Trump 50 to 47 percent among likely voters. White voters in the state support Trump 67 to 31 percent because they presumably appreciate the great work the president has done killing Black people with COVID-19. Biden is performing better overall among white voters than Stacey Abrams in 2018. She only managed 25 percent of the white vote. Biden is at 31 percent, which is technically the level a candidate should be if they're the one who let a plague run unchecked on their watch. Trump's even winning college-educated whites but not by much (51 to 47 percent).
In the other Senate race (lucky Georgia, two Senate races!) Democrat Jon Ossoff is also narrowly ahead of Republican incumbent Senator David Perdue, 49 to 48 percent. Perdue tried ghosting Trump but it's not working. Biden and Ossoff are both leading among independents, 51 to 42 percent and 53 to 42 percent respectively.
The Republican candidates' approval ratings are dismal for incumbents: 51 percent of Georgia voters disapprove of the president compared to Biden's 49 percent disapproval. Ossoff and Perdue both have 45 percent approval but Ossoff's disapproval is just 38 percent while 44 percent of voters can't stand Perdue. This means there's more room for Ossoff to grow.
As Biden builds a comfortable lead in Pennsylvania, he can turn up the heat in Georgia. The Peach State has 16 electoral votes to Ohio's 18. It's not a terrible trade to make, especially if Biden can also flip Arizona, and in both states, there's an opportunity to defeat Republican senators, not a single one of whom deserve to remain in office.
Collins received a high-profile endorsement from former Republican Governor Nathan Deal, who said a "Senate seat representing the state of Georgia cannot be bought." Loeffler couldn't help but take that personally considering she still has the receipt. Current terrible Republican Governor Brian Kemp is standing by Loeffler, which among all his bad decisions ranks somewhere in the middle.
Trump won't endorse, no matter how much Loeffler or Collins beg, and he's encouraging both to stay in the race, despite splitting the Republican vote, because he thinks that will drive turnout to his benefit. Trump's malignant narcissism is going to kill the GOP on his way out the door. You love to see it.
Loeffler has insisted on campaigning as if she's running in Mississippi. Boasting that she's "more conservative than Attila the Hun," who wasn't even a UGA graduate, isn't going to endear her to independents. It also wasn't wise to proactively cast herself as the villain in the movie they're going to make about the Atlanta Dream's bold stand for racial justice.
The majority of Georgia voters also reject the GOP position on the Affordable Care Act and who should appoint the next Supreme Court justice. That's not great for Loeffler, who might hope to squeak out a victory in a low-turnout runoff next year, but no, we're gonna still be real mad.
Daily Kos/Civiqs released a poll of voters in a hypothetical head-to-head race between Loeffler and Warnock, and the good reverend was leading 49 to 39 percent.
Just shoot it in our veins!
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).