Normally a reliably red state, polls in Georgia show President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a dead heat for the state's 16 electoral votes.
Biden's competitiveness in Georgia polls may filter through to downballot races, such as the Senate election between Republican incumbent David Perdue and his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff.
In a debate between the two candidates on Wednesday night, Ossoff went on the offensive, calling out Perdue for falling in line with his Republican colleagues and working to undermine preexisting condition protections in the Affordable Care Act.
Ossoff didn't mince words.
Sen. David Perdue doesn't deserve to be re-elected. pic.twitter.com/S7Zi3dsnik
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) October 29, 2020
Calling out Perdue for the federal investigations of his potential insider trading, Ossoff said:
"It's not just that you're a crook, Senator. It's that you're attacking the health of the people that you represent. You did say [the virus] was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no significant uptick in cases. All the while you were looking after your own assets and your own portfolio."
Perdue was one of the Senators who made a series of stock trades after a closed door Senate briefing on the pandemic in the early days of its outbreak.
Ossoff continued, attacking Perdue for his work to dissolve protections for preexisting conditions.
"And you did vote four times to end protections for preexisting conditions. Four times. And the legislation that you tout, the PROTECT Act, it includes loopholes that specifically allow insurance companies to deny policies to Georgians with preexisting conditions."
Ossoff's takedown was widely applauded.
This is what we need in Washington. Honest, fearless and fed up. https://t.co/A5Mu8FA1EE
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) October 29, 2020
Anti-semitic racist gets his ass handed to him. Enjoy. https://t.co/kYeLBj1So5
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) October 29, 2020
THIS is how you talk to Republicans when you get a chance to confront them face to face. This is how every Democratic candidate should have been talking this entire campaign.
Call them out directly, put them on the spot, ask them the questions we know they can't answer. https://t.co/EXUN0HokJT
— Rudy Ghouliani (@BostonJerry) October 29, 2020
Some took joy in watching Perdue squirm.
What I like about this is that it's clear from Perdue's body language that he has never been so directly questioned about this stuff. He's a senator, he should have been asked about it a lot before now. So this is refreshing. https://t.co/MQnztvqlbH
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) October 29, 2020
Jesus, Perdue can't even make eye contact with Ossoff. Absolutely withering. https://t.co/uOYtkgxHxD
— Max Burns (@themaxburns) October 29, 2020
The moment when Perdue raises his finger as if to object, then thinks better of it… *chef's kiss* https://t.co/7q5Vi02T2a
— Kris Vire (@krisvire) October 29, 2020
Georgia's Senate election—like the presidential election—is on November 3rd.