Vice President-elect Kamala Harris visited Georgia on Monday (Dec. 21) to campaign for Democratic candidates as the state gets closer to the Jan. 5 runoff elections that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.
“You did what no one thought could be done,” Harris told a crowd of supporters in Columbus, thanking them for putting her and President-elect Joe Biden in the winner’s column for the state. “You made a statement not only about who is Georgia, what is the voice of Georgia, what are the priorities of Georgia, what Georgia will not allow to be denied about Georgia, but you also made a statement about who we are as a country.”
Democrats Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are running against incumbent senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in a contest that was not decided on Election Day in November because neither of the candidates received more than 50 percent of the votes in their particular races.
A Democratic win means Harris, as vice president, would cast tie-breaking votes that would more than likely benefit her party. That in turn would help Biden move his agenda forward as his term in office progresses. The senate is currently under Republican control.
But the races are tight. In a poll commissioned by Atlanta television station WXIA, Warnock has a 52-45 percent lead over Loeffler, while Ossoff has a 51-56 percent lead. But pollsters say the races could go either way.
Harris, understanding how tight the race currently stands, told voters that Warnock and Ossoff could help Biden move important legislation through Congress like improved Title I funding to help better educate children living within low-income districts, a $15,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers, help for small and minority-owned businesses, and assistance with criminal justice reforms.
“This will not be easy,” said Harris. “And it is within our power to change the course of the history of this country.”
Harris is not the first political heavyweight to make a pre-runoff campaign visit in support of the candidates, according to the Associated Press. Both Biden and Vice President Mike Pence have stumped in Georgia for their respective party candidates. President Donald Trump said that he would be coming back to the state on Jan. 4, the day before the runoff. On Monday, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and his senior adviser, also campaigned for Loeffler and Perdue.
“As you know, everything is at stake,” said Harris, “when it comes to the need to elect Rev. Raphael Warnock, to elect John Ossoff…everything that was at stake in November is at stake leading up to Jan. 5.”