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The Senate runoff elections in Georgia are critical because of the role they’ll play in determining control of the Senate and how they will affect President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda, but they’re also notable for shattering fundraising records and massive campaign ad spending.
The races between Republican incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler against Democrats Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock rank among the top 10 costliest Senate races in the nation’s history.
The four candidates, political parties, super PACs and outside groups have generated $486 million in campaign ads in the two-month leadup to Tuesday’s vote, according to Axios’ analysis of the spending totals compiled by Ad Impact.
Of that amount, $458 million was spent on TV ads in the Peach State, due to a blackout on social media sites, with the Perdue-Ossoff race spending $249 million and the Loeffler-Warnock race close behind at $237 million.
According to the analysis, Republicans have outspent Democrats by more than $50 million in the two races.
American Crossroads, the Senate Leadership Fund and Peachtree PAC, which is affiliated with the Senate Leadership Fund, led spending for Republicans, contributing more than $110 million.
Fundraising levels are also off the charts – even in a political year that saw nine of the 10 most expensive Senate races in the country’s history.
The four candidates in Georgia raised $446.7 million in the past two months, with Ossoff hauling in $140 million – more than Al Gore raised in his 2000 presidential bid.
Warnock is close behind with $125 million, followed by Loeffler with $92 million and Perdue with $90 million.
An analysis of Federal Election Commission data by The Post shows that Ossoff and Warnock have been on the receiving end of donations from liberal donors in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
New Yorkers contributed $6 million to Ossoff and $4.7 million to Warnock.
The massive influx of money in the races reflects the high-stakes involved.
If the two Democrats emerge victorious, the Senate would be split 50-50 with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris poised to cast any tie breaking votes.
Having control of the Senate would mean that the incoming Biden administration would have an easier time getting nominees confirmed and a better chance at having its legislative agenda approved.
Both Biden, who was the first Democrat to win Georgia since Bill Clinton in 1992, and President Trump held rallies in the state Monday, urging their supporters to vote.