In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. Our next book, title TBA, discusses the 2020 results.
Rick Rojas at NYT:
The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Democratic challengers in the Senate runoffs in Georgia, have each raised more than $100 million since October — enormous sums that surpassed their Republican opponents by a significant margin and underscored Democrats’ confidence after recent gains the party has made in the state and their hopes that they might capture the Senate.Sheera Frenkel and Davey Alba at NYT:
The contests have drawn a surge of attention and investment from outside of Georgia, given the stakes, and the campaigning has only intensified in the final weeks before the runoff, which is scheduled for Jan. 5.
Senator David Perdue, one of the Republican incumbents, raised $68 million in the period between Oct. 15 and Dec. 16, according to reports to the Federal Election Commission made public on Thursday. Senator Kelly Loeffler, the other Republican, raised close to $64 million during that period.
Mr. Ossoff, who is running against Mr. Perdue, became the best-funded Senate candidate in history after pulling in $106.7 million, according to the filings, and Mr. Warnock, who is challenging Ms. Loeffler, has raised $103.3 million.
Two weeks ago, the conservative media personalities Diamond and Silk falsely claimed on their Facebook page that people who were not eligible to vote were receiving ballots in Georgia’s special elections next month. Their post was shared more than 300 times.
A week later, the right-wing commentator Mark Levin shared a post on his Facebook page falsely suggesting that the Rev. Raphael Warnock, one of the two Democrats running in the Georgia Senate runoffs, once welcomed Fidel Castro to his church. The misleading claim was shared more than 3,000 times.
At the same time, a drumbeat of misinformation about the presidential election count in Georgia droned on. Lara Trump, President Trump’s daughter-in-law, and the Hodgetwins, a bodybuilding duo who have turned to pro-Trump political comedy, shared several false stories on their Instagram and Facebook pages that claimed suitcases filled with ballots were pulled out from under tables during the November vote count. Tens of thousands of people shared their posts.
A small group of “superspreaders” is responsible for the vast majority of that misinformation, according to new research by Avaaz, a global human rights group. Not only are those accounts responsible for most of the misinformation swirling around the vote, they are drowning out accurate reporting by mainstream media outlets on Facebook and Instagram.
Does a political ad showing Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock saying "God damn America" present the video in context? No, it does not: When Rev. Warnock uttered the controversial phrase, he was discussing the use of those words in a famous sermon by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. By taking Warnock's quote out of context, the ad implied he was communicating his own sentiment, which he was not.
The ad (archived here) began running on Facebook on December 17, 2020. Paid for by American Crossroads, a conservative super PAC, the ad included a six-second video that showed Wright and Warnock, back to back, saying, "God damn America." Text overlaid on top of the video at one point read: "Raphael Warnock: 'God damn America.'"