Republicans and Democrats have spent $14 million on a nonstop ad blitz to sway Georgia’s special election. But the outcome of Tuesday’s vote may come down to a more personal touch.
The leading contenders in the 18-candidate race have unleashed a flood of volunteers and paid staffers to target voters in the final days of the election, and they’re making last-ditch phone calls, waving signs at busy street corners and going door-by-door in search of support.
And though the advertising blitz can help shape the perception of the top candidates, the sophisticated ground game from each party may end up determining whether Democrat Jon Ossoff will pull off an upset victory to fill the suburban Atlanta seat, or square off against a Republican in June.
Campaigns mine the enormous amount of information they collect, including voting history and social media data, to craft messages that can be personalized to sway votes. On-the-ground canvassers use the information to give an extra push, trying to lock up verbal commitments and ensure supporters have rides to the polls.
Much is at stake. Republicans have held the district for decades and a loss on Tuesday would be a rebuke to Donald Trump. With his “Make Trump Furious” message, Ossoff has energized supporters and raised an unprecedented cash haul, though he still faces long odds of flipping the seat.
Read the rest here: Democrats go for broke to win Georgia’s special election