politics

Democrat Matt Lieberman Stays in Georgia Senate Race Despite Pressure to Drop Out

The stakes are high for the Democratic Party this election season beyond the White House, particularly as they look to flip control of the U.S. Senate. Georgia's special election could prove to be a key race, as Democratic voters are increasingly rallying around Raphael Warnock, who looks to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler. Still, his fellow Democrat Matt Lieberman, told Cheddar, the race is not yet over.
A Quinnipiac University poll of likely Georgia voters taken in the last week, however, shows Warnock holding 31 percent of support against the field, with Loeffler at 23 percent and Republican Doug Collins at 22 percent, with a total of 21 contenders on the ballot. If no candidate earns a majority in the November jungle primary election, the race will go to a January runoff.
Lieberman, at 9 percent, is facing mounting pressure to drop out as some voters and Democratic officials, including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, Stacy Abrams, charge that he could take votes away from Warnock, ultimately leading to a Republican retaining the seat.
But Lieberman told Cheddar, "there's more campaign to go" and dropping out of the race, at this point, likely wouldn't happen. 
"If a moment arrived — and I hope Warnock would say this, or any candidate — where I truly felt I had no chance or he had no chance because momentum shifts again, and someone could make a really compelling case to me that I'd be the spoiler, or to him that he'd be the spoiler … then sure I'd look at getting out," Lieberman said.
As Democratic voters have made gains in the Peach State, Lieberman said he wants a chance to increase his recognition in order to be able to speak for those "fed up citizens of Georgia."  
"I can't blame Raphael Warnock supporters for wanting everyone else to drop out of the race, he continued. "We're far from there."
While not ready to concede, Lieberman said he is confident a Democratic candidate will secure a spot in the runoff. And when it comes to gaining voter support, he said he is leaning on shifting voting dynamics in the state.
"Georgia is not the old South," he said. "You've had people moving into Georgia for the great quality of life, great jobs for years and years. Those people are from all over the country, and so they bring the politics that they bring with them."
But even after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp reopened the state amid the coronavirus pandemic, for Lieberman, rallying new supporters has been tough as much of the campaigning has been virtual. 
"There are very, very few in-person events," he noted regarding the challenges. "Part of the fun is interacting with people, is hearing more people one-on-one."
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