Georgia's U.S. Senate candidates faceoff in debate ahead of runoff

Democrats are making a run for a clean sweep of power in Washington, after winning the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in nearly three decades.

Standing in Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock’s way are the Republican incumbents.

Polls show less than a point spread in both runoff races, as three of the candidates head into a highly anticipated debate Sunday evening.

Sen. David Perdue opted not to participate, which some analysts call “wise” since he already has significant name recognition, having served in office for six years. But Lori Geary, moderator of the "The Georgia Gang," acknowledges it leaves him vulnerable to easy attacks from Ossoff, who will be answering questions solo on the debate stage.

“With many respects, it's good for Senator [Kelly] Loeffler and Raphael Warnock, [her Democratic opponent], because it gives them a national platform, and unless there's some major flub or gaffe, I don't think the debate will move the needle,” Geary said.


Just ahead of that debate, the Republican incumbents got a boost from the party's top dog in Valdosta.

President Donald Trump urged voters to ignore calls to boycott the runoffs, and instead, “Show up and vote in record numbers.”

But will the president's push to get out the vote outshine his relentless claims of a rigged election in Georgia, which have prompted some Republicans to go as far as discouraging voters from casting their ballots on Jan. 5?

Meanwhile, Trump launched new attacks against a handful of the state's Republican leaders.

“You got to get your governor to get a lot tougher than he's been,” Trump said.

Gov. Brian Kemp continues to face pressure from the president, both on Twitter and reportedly in a direct phone call Saturday, to mandate additional signature checks in Georgia’s presidential election. That is not something that falls under Kemp’s purview.

The debate will be held at Georgia Public Broadcasting and aired on FOX 5 News. Loeffler and Warnock will go head-to-head at 7 p.m., moderated by anchor Russ Spencer.

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