2020 Election

Ossoff Blames Libertarian Candidate for His Running 100,000 Votes Behind Biden in Georgia

Libertarians unlikely to back Democrat

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff blamed Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel for his running 100,000 votes behind Joe Biden last week.

"Well, we saw some drop-off from the top of the ballot. We saw some votes go to [the] Libertarian candidate, but the bottom line is that this is the strongest Democratic turnout ever in the history of this state," Ossoff said on CNN.

In reality, Hazel's run was more likely to take votes away from Ossoff's Republican opponent, Sen. David Perdue. Hazel previously ran for the Republican nomination in Georgia's Seventh Congressional District, and the pro-small government Libertarian Party predominantly attracts Republicans, not Democrats.

Although Perdue received nearly 90,000 more votes, he fell short of the 50 percent mark—he and Ossoff head to a runoff on January 5. Hazel took 2.3 percent of the vote. If Perdue had gotten even 20 percent of Hazel's share, he would have already defeated Ossoff.

After Ossoff took a shot at Perdue for falling short of a majority of the vote, CNN anchor John Berman responded, "So did you, though."

Unlike the situation with Ossoff and Biden, Perdue ran evenly with Trump in the state, with both taking 2.46 million votes according to the latest count.

The Perdue-Ossoff race will not be the only election in Georgia on Jan. 5. Republican senator Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock also advanced to a runoff after they finished in the top two spots in their jungle election. Both races are especially crucial because party control of the U.S. Senate is at stake.