Ossoff’s closing TV message continues focus on driving up Black turnout
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from Georgia Jon Ossoff speaks after voting early in Atlanta on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. For the second time in three years, Jon Ossoff is campaigning in overtime. The question is whether the 33-year-old Democrat can deliver a win in a crucial Jan. 5 runoff with Republican Sen. David Perdue. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Senate candidate Jon Ossoff’s closing TV argument is a call to action centered on Black voters’ struggles with injustice and the coronavirus pandemic as he makes his final pitch in the last week of the runoff campaign.
The 30-second spot, “We the people,” includes flashbacks to the stories of five Black Georgians his campaign featured in earlier ads, which highlight how the pandemic has disproportionately sickened African-American families and invoke demonstrations demanding racial justice and equality.
The ad released Wednesday doesn’t mention Ossoff’s rival, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, or other Republican figures involved in the Jan. 5 runoffs for control of the Senate. Instead, it outlines far-reaching policies he and Raphael Warnock say they’ll achieve if Perdue and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler are defeated.
“We the people. We demand healthcare no matter our wealth. We the people demand justice no matter the color of our skin. We the people demand immediate financial relief when so many can’t afford rent, gas or childcare,” Ossoff said.
“But for these demands to be met, we the people have to vote. So from Bankhead to Buckhead, from the coast to Columbus, and from the mountains to the Florida line, make a plan to vote.”
It summons earlier TV spots featuring Black voters that have promoted his campaign message, including the story of a first-time voter working multiple jobs, a veteran who lost three relatives to Covid, a Black-owned restaurant in rural Georgia, a new voter inspired by the movement to end police brutality and a mother appealing for a new civil rights act.
Democrats must win the Jan. 5 runoffs to force a 50-50 tie in the U.S. Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking vote. Republicans need to win one of the seats to maintain control of the chamber, though both GOP incumbents are essentially running as a packaged deal.
Republicans have cast the election as a “firewall” against total Democratic control of the White House, characterizing their opponents as too liberal for Georgia. Ossoff and Warnock say that GOP victories would create deeper gridlock in the Senate and jeopardize President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda.