Republican U.S. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler won Oconee County in unofficial but complete election returns Tuesday, but the percentage of the votes the two received were less than a point higher than the percentages their party candidates received in November.
In contrast, Democrat Jon Ossoff increased his percent of the Oconee County vote in the race with Perdue from 29.7 to 31.1, and Democrat Raphael Warnock in the race with Loeffler received 31.8 percent of the vote on Tuesday compared with the 30.2 percent figure for all Democrats in the special election on Nov. 3.
Turnout in Oconee County on Tuesday was heavy for a runoff--at 77.4 percent of the 30,444 active registered voters–but down from the 84.5 percent turnout of the 30,071 active voters in November.
The candidates had 373 more potential voters because of increased registration before early voting in December.
In the end, Perdue got 891 fewer votes in Oconee County on Tuesday than he got on Nov. 3, while Ossoff got 145 fewer votes.
Loeffler got 809 fewer votes than Republican candidates did in the county in November, while Warnock got only 36 fewer votes than did all of the Democrats in the special election in November.
In the runoff for Public Service Commissioner, Republican incumbent Lauren Bubba McDonald received 71.0 percent of the Oconee County vote on Tuesday, up from 69.1 on Nov. 3 and Democrat Daniel Blackman got 29.0 percent of the vote, up from 27.6 percent in November voting.
The six candidates were facing off in the three different races on Tuesday because no one received a majority in the election in November.
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Perdue and McDonald had received just less than the needed 50 percent in three-way contests. Libertarian Shane Hazel had received 2.3 percent of the vote in the challenge to Perdue, and Libertarian Nathan Wilson had received 3.3 percent in the challenge to McDonald.
The special election for the seat now held by Loeffler, who was appointed to fill out the term of Johnny Isakson on his early retirement, attracted 20 official candidates, six of them running as Republicans and eight running as Democrats. The remaining six candidates ran with various party labels.
Warnock was the top vote getter across the state in the special election, followed by Loeffler, putting the two of them together in the runoff.
McDonald received 495 fewer votes on Tuesday than he received on Nov. 3, and Blackman received 62 fewer votes.
A total of 23,537 voters cast a ballot in the Perdue/Ossoff race, while 23,532 cast a ballot in the Loeffler/Warnock race.
In the Public Service Commission race, 23,301 voters cast a ballot.
I think the trends of Watkinsville politics are a good indicator of how the state and country feel. The negative, attack ads for the city council election didn't work. And the negative, attack ads in the U.S. Senate race didn't work.
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