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Pundit predictions: Who is going to win in Georgia?

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform

Former Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Georgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' MORE and Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Herschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock MORE will both be reelected with a 1- to 2-point margin.

The GOP candidates for U.S. House, state House and Senate won more than 51 percent of the vote in November. Suburban women who refused to vote for President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE have no reason to vote for the Democrats or against the two Republicans. And both Democrats have promised to vote (via the PRO Act) to abolish Georgia’s (and 26 other states’) right to work laws, to ban independent contractors and freelance workers, and raise taxes on the vast majority of Americans by repealing the Trump tax cut.

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The GOP got a head start on voter turnout this time and now has enough poll watchers to limit problems in and around Atlanta.

 

Maria Cardona, principal at the Dewey Square Group, Democratic strategist and a CNN contributor

The last 24 hours could be game-changing for the Georgia Senate runoffs. Before the bombshell of the leaked President Trump call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, momentum already favored Democrats the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The mobilization on the Democratic side, fueled by a Biden Georgia win, has been historic — more than 3 million early votes cast, surpassing expectations and worrying Republicans. Trump’s message of fraudulent elections has hurt Perdue and Loeffler. The president enables Democrats to compellingly say GOP senators want to silence Georgia voters. The leaked call will help Ossoff and Warnock win and give Democrats slim control of the Senate.

 

Doug Heye, former communications director for the Republican National Committee

Despite President Trump losing Georgia (and let’s be clear, he lost), Republicans should have been well poised to win the Georgia runoffs with ease. Both Loeffler and Perdue received more votes than their Democratic opponents and the lay of the land in Georgia traditionally favors Republicans, who have improved in seven of eight statewide runoffs since Paul Coverdell’s 1992 victory. Add to that the Herculean efforts of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl MORE (R-Ky.) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who have raised well over $100 million for the two races, the largest effort they’ve made in runoff elections. They have left it all on the field.

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Unfortunately, none of that prevents Trump from acting as a wrecking ball, pitting Georgia Republicans against each other and targeting Republican turnout — essentially suppressing the GOP vote — in his destructive, unconstitutional effort to overturn his loss in Georgia. We don’t know what ultimate effect this will have, but it will not be positive in either the short-term for Georgia Republicans or long-term for the country.

Trump’s actions have denied the Republicans their best messaging — to run as a check and balance on the Biden-Harris administration (you can’t check and balance an administration you don’t acknowledge) and to talk about economic issues. This could have helped the Republicans in suburban Atlanta, where they needed help.

Talking to friends who are working on both sides of the Georgia races, I’m consistently told some variation of “Well, I think we’re going to win...” with a long emphasis on the word “think.” Translation: They just don’t know. Neither do I.

If Loeffler and Perdue do win, it will be despite Trump, not because of him. And if they lose, it’s easy to see him throw them under the bus as losers who were never loyal enough. Trump doesn’t give points, he only takes them away, one at a time — as he gives a Republican Party he never cared about another swift kick in the rear on the way out.

 

Richard Fowler, chairman of the Center for Black Equity Leadership Council, Democratic strategist and a Fox News contributor

Georgia! Georgia! Georgia!

Georgia is on the mind of every American concerned about the fate of American politics, specifically which party will control the Senate for at least the next two years. Whether you are a supporter of President Trump and his outgoing agenda or a passionate progressive seeking real, deep-seated change in Washington, D.C., all political storylines will come down to the two Georgia Senate runoff races.

To be honest, Trump has made this race a lot harder for the GOP. His willingness to throw bricks at the integrity of our democracy could cost Perdue and Loeffler their seats.

With so much energy and momentum on the Democratic side, led by the effort of Black women and people of color, it seems very likely that Warnock and Ossoff will be the next two senators from the Peach State.

 

Brent Budowsky, columnist for The Hill and was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.)

The Rev. Raphael Warnock: 50.5 percent

Sen. Kelly Loeffler: 49.5 percent

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Jon Ossoff: 50.5 percent

Former Sen. David Perdue: 49.5 percent

There will be huge Democratic turnout from voters of color, women, young people and Democratic stronghold counties due to hyper-organized minority and Democratic Party voter mobilization. There will be slightly depressed GOP turnout from rural and Trump stronghold counties caused by President Trump’s attacks against the 2020 election and Georgia Republicans. 

 

Armstrong Williams, founder and CEO of Howard Stirks Holdings broadcast media company and host of “The Armstrong Williams Show”

The two Georgia Senate races have been interesting to follow, particularly since Election Day 2020.

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Democrat Jon Ossoff has clearly shown that, irrespective of Tuesday’s outcome, he has a bright political future. His campaign style has been impressive with few mistakes made. Yet Perdue, who won his seat in 2014 by nearly 6 points, should not be counted out. He is well-respected in the state. I like Perdue to win this one.

For the Loeffler-Warnock match-up, I feel turnout for Perdue (and the silent Trump voters) ultimately pushes her over the finish line first. Warnock is unknown. That won’t help him with voters looking for stability in a post-Trump era.

Either way, I don’t think the races get decided Tuesday. I’m not sure what that looks like, but my gut says we won’t know the winners on Tuesday.

 

Simon Rosenberg, Democratic strategist and president of the think tank NDN

Democrats should be very optimistic about Georgia. Despite being outspent, running against two incumbents, and historically struggling in Georgia runoffs, Democrats head into election day in better shape in the early/mail vote than at this time in the November elections, which they won.

This strong early vote performance is a sign that the powerful new coalition Stacey Abrams and others have forged is here to stay and is showing up again. 

Finally, what is the GOP’s closing argument in Georgia? It appears to be chaos, corruption, cheating, more COVID-19, fewer jobs — who wants that? The advantage goes to Ossoff and Warnock.