Local political science professor discusses U.S. Senate races in Georgia

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CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) – The race for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Johnny Isakson in Georgia has a large field.

It’s a special election with no primary, and it includes multiple Republicans and Democrats.

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“Everyone is thrown together, basically, in the same pool, and you have a situation where coming in second could be good enough to win,” Dalton State Political Science Professor Dr. Ken Ellinger said.

Among the sea of candidates, the ones who appear to be leading the pack are Democratic candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock, and Republican candidates, incumbent Kelly Leoffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins.

To win the race, the candidate must have 50 percent of the votes.

Ellinger predicts Warnock will come in first place, but foresees a runoff with the Republican candidate winning the seat.

“That’s going to be the only question on election night is who is going to get the more votes Congressman Collins or Senator Leoffler,” he said.

“Senator Leoffler was the handpicked candidate of Governor Kemp and also the choice of President Trump, but Collins is a very strong Trump supporter and many people voting for Trump will also vote for Collins.”

This isn’t the only U.S. Senate race in Georgia.

Ellinger said that this is a rare time when voters can vote in both U.S. Senate races at the same time.

“David Perdue and Jon Ossoff are both spending millions of dollars and other outside groups are spending many more millions of dollars trying to get one of them elected,” he said.

Ellinger said that for Republicans, winning both races are important to help them maintain control of the Senate.

“They only have a 53 to 47 advantage, and they don’t want to lose control of the senate. And, I can assure you that they are counting on holding onto both of these Republican Senate seats in Georgia,” Ellinger said.

Voters in Georgia have one more day to early vote on Friday.

Election Day is Tuesday.