Race tightens as Perdue faces intense scrutiny for COVID-19 stock trading
Shift comes after GOP internal poll finds Jon Ossoff in dead heat with Perdue
Cook Report: “Georgia is a state to watch at nearly every level in 2020”
Cook Report: “Both of the Peach State’s Senate seats are very much in play this year”
Atlanta, Ga. — Today, following new polling that shows a tight race in Georgia between Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) and investigative journalist and media executive Jon Ossoff (D), The Cook Political Report shifted its race rating in favor of Democrats, from “Likely R” to “Lean R.”
The shift comes as Perdue faces intense scrutiny after local media revealed his intense and suspicious stock trading before and during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is increasing evidence, including a GOP survey out this week from a respected pollster, that shows growing trouble for Perdue,” Cook Political Report’s Jessica Taylor wrote.
Perdue bought shares in a medical PPE manufacturer the same day as a closed Senate COVID-19 briefing in January, bought vaccine shares and dumped casino stock before the market crash in February, and traded stocks at 300% his normal tempo while helping write the largest bailout in history in March.
After previously insisting that “outside” financial advisers “always” managed his finances, Perdue walked back that claim in a statement last week. And after similarly insisting for months he did not control his own portfolio, Perdue relented to mounting pressure last week and claimed he will now cease trading individual stocks — though he still refuses to place his assets in a blind trust.
In recent weeks, Perdue also admitted that he had opposed one-time $1,200 checks for American workers and was caught on a private call with Trump donors warning of defeat.
Cook’s race ratings shift comes two days after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a leaked internal GOP poll conducted by GOP pollster Public Opinion Strategies found Perdue in a dead heat with Ossoff (43-41, 4% MOE).
And just yesterday, The National Journal’s “Hotline” ranked this race as one of the most competitive nationwide, noting, “Perdue is feeling the heat as well, considering two internal polls from Georgia Republicans showed Democrat Jon Ossoff within striking distance of the first-term senator.”
“Senator Perdue’s misconduct has gravely damaged his re-election prospects, while our campaign’s relentless focus on lowering health care costs, historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy, and anti-corruption reforms is winning broad support across Georgia,” said Ossoff.
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