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Georgians are surprised by run-off ads as the Democrats install Barack Obama and the Republicans counter with Herschel Walker

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Georgians will be inundated with political advertising ahead of the crucial runoff elections to the US Senate on Tuesday, as estimates put total media spending at around $ 500 million so far.

“You can send Jon Ossoff to the Senate to fight this virus and rebuild our economy,” Obama says.

See: Pence Appeals to the “Faith Community” on behalf of Republicans Loeffler and Perdue of Georgia at the eleventh hour

Meanwhile, former soccer star Herschel Walker, who played at the University of Georgia before signing with the Donald Trump-owned USFL’s New Jersey Generals, appears in a spot for Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, their Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock is. The three pass a soccer ball as they explain the importance of the choice to the audience.

“There is too much at stake. Choose Kelly and David. Help Georgia win this for America, ”says Walker.

Mailers, digital advertisements, radio advertisements and ubiquitous TV advertisements are expected to arrive by Tuesday.

Is it all worth it? “The simplest answer is that the ads, etc., are not currently motivating voters one way or the other,” said Robert M. Howard, professor of political science at Georgia State University. “The money spent in this particular cycle is significantly decreasing.”

But Howard added, “Don’t get me wrong – money is important. You want to get your message across and not let yourself be defined by your opponent alone. “

The two runoff elections in Georgia are crucial because Democratic victories in both races would give that party control of the chamber. There would be a 50-50 split, but a Democratic vice president, Kamala Harris, would vote in a tie. Republicans can remain the majority party by winning just one of the two races in Georgia and they would then review policies backed by President-elect Joe Biden and the Democrat-run House of Representatives.

Recordings of Trump in support of Loeffler and Perdue as well as Biden – the first Democratic presidential candidate to support the state in decades – for Ossoff and Warnock have also caught the electorate’s ears. In the two months since the November 3rd elections, thousands of pounds of paper campaign flyers have also landed in Georgia’s mailboxes.

Ad spend says a lot about the impact of election results and the popularity of the candidates involved, according to John Link, vice president of sales at AdImpact, an ad tracking company formerly known as Advertising Analytics.

“The level of spending is clearly due to the success of the fundraising efforts,” said Link. “As long as donors remain as active as we have seen lately, expect spending levels to remain historically high.”

The main campaign committee for Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker, announced that he raised $ 107 million from October 15 to December 16, over the $ 68 million raised for Perdue, former CEO of Dollar General DG + 0.95%.
Warnock, pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, raised $ 103 million in the same period, compared to $ 64 million for Loeffler, a former financial services manager whose husband runs parent company ICE on the New York Stock Exchange, +1.52 %.

In addition to the candidates’ campaigns, political action committees and super PACs were busy reaching voters with advertisements. Republican PACs like American Crossroads, Senate Leadership Fund, and Peachtree PAC have been key players, along with Democratic PACs like Georgia Way, New South Super PAC, Priorities USA, and New Power PAC. Some analysts have predicted that total spending by campaign committees and other groups could reach $ 1 billion.

“Both sides have so much money and so much media coverage that either side – the Republican incumbents and the Democratic opponents – had no problem getting their message across,” said Howard, a Georgia State professor.

More than 3 million Georgians, or 39% of the state’s registered voters, had cast their vote at the start of the Senate elections on Monday, according to the US election project. Georgia law required the runoff election if no candidate received more than 50% of the vote in any of the Senate races in November.

According to the numbers compiled by Georgia Votes, about 118,000 runoff elections had not voted in November. The advertising that dominates television in Georgia may have had something to do with engaging these voters, although the overall impact is unclear.

“At some point, voters just turn off all ads and commercials and send out flyers and emails,” said Howard. “The best use of the money now is likely to be in voting efforts, and that seems to be happening for both sides.”

Read now: In the betting markets, Republicans win Georgia’s crucial runoff, while polls give Democrats an edge

Likewise: Biden plans to campaign on the eve of the Atlanta Senate runoff elections

Plus: Trump plans to campaign on Monday in the Georgia district with low early turnout

MarketWatch’s Victor Reklaitis contributed to this report.

This is an updated report version of a report that was first published on December 31, 2020.

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