ATLANTA – Reverend Raphael G. Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Democratic challengers in the second round of the Senate in Georgia, have each raised more than $ 100 million since October – huge sums that have far exceeded their Republican opponents and highlighted Democrats’ confidence after the party’s recent gains in the state and their hopes of conquering the Senate.
The contests have drawn a wave of attention and investment from outside Georgia, given the stakes, and the campaign only intensified in the final weeks before the second round, which is scheduled for 5 January.
Senator David Perdue, one of the Republican incumbents, raised $ 68 million between Oct. 15 and Dec. 16, according to reports from the Federal Election Commission released Thursday. Senator Kelly Loeffler, the other Republican, raised nearly $ 64 million during that time.
Mr Ossoff, who is running against Mr Perdue, became the best-funded Senate candidate in history after raising $ 106.7 million, according to the documents filed, and Mr Warnock, who is challenging Ms Loeffler, raised $ 103.3 million.
The Democrats’ transport was fueled largely by a wave of small donations collected across the country, according to the documents filed, with nearly half of the funds coming from people who gave less than $ 200.
For Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler, the smallest donations were less than 30 percent of what they raised.
Mr. Ossoff, who runs a media production company, spent $ 93.5 million during that time and had $ 17.4 million in cash, and Mr. Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church at Atlanta spent $ 86.1 million and had $ 22.7 million in cash on hand. Mr. Perdue spent $ 57.8 million and had $ 16 million in cash, and Ms. Loeffler spent $ 48.6 million and had $ 21.2 million in cash.
Ms Loeffler, one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, was the only candidate to donate to her own campaign, donating $ 333,200 – far less than the $ 23 million of her own money she spent on the campaign. general election race.
The figures in the documents only affirm a level of investment that has been clearly visible to Georgian voters for months. Campaign ads fill virtually every commercial break on television and radio. The spending even crossed state lines, as candidates and outside groups bought time in markets like Jacksonville, Fla., And Chattanooga, Tennessee, to reach Georgian voters living nearby.
The amounts contributed by the two Democrats exceeded the $ 57 million raised by Jaime Harrison during his campaign in South Carolina against Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, which had been the highest quarterly fundraising total for any candidate for the Senate of United States History. Still, the race ended up being a disappointment for Democrats, demonstrating that record hits don’t necessarily translate into electoral success.
But in Georgia, Democrats have been backed by a string of recent successes in a state that until recently was reliably Republican. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win in Georgia since 1992.
Mr. Biden and President Trump have visited to campaign for their party’s candidates. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter, both made campaign stops in Georgia last week.
Democrats have focused on the stock transactions their opponents made during their tenure in the Senate and on their support for Mr. Trump in his efforts to reverse his loss in Georgia.
Republicans have largely focused on Mr Warnock, with Loeffler calling him a “radical liberal” more than a dozen times in a recent televised debate. His campaign also circulated selected quotes from his more than two decades of sermons, including an example where he said “no one can serve God and the host,” a theme that has its roots in biblical passages.
A coalition of African-American pastors issued an open letter to Ms Loeffler last week condemning her campaign for what they saw as an attack on the black church. Political observers in Georgia have also argued that it damaged the relationship Republicans had with Ebenezer, the congregation that was once headed by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Yet in the Christmas messages, a day for the most part without a campaign, Ms Loeffler and Mr Warnock made a similar note, describing the turbulence of the past year and envisioning a turn for the better.
“With Christmas comes a new light and new hope,” Ms. Loeffler said in a video she posted to social media.
“I know too many people are heartbroken tonight,” Mr. Warnock said in his own Twitter post, “and the holidays don’t seem to make things any better. It’s been dark for a long time, and it may be Christmas never come. But fear not. Dawn is coming. Good news and hope are on the horizon. “