As voters head to polls on Tuesday in the Georgia Senate runoff elections, there has been renewed interest on social media in an October video recording by Project Veritas showing a campaign aide for Jon Ossoff, a Democrat contender for one of the Senate seats, saying that Ossoff keeps his progressive values “low key” to sway Georgia “rednecks.”
In the undercover video, originally posted on Oct. 26, field organizer for the Ossoff campaign Dino Nguyen says that Ossoff “is not going to win the election as a progressive, and that’s basically it.
“On the surface, he tries to portray himself as left of moderate so that all the Georgians—not us Georgians, but all the rednecks and all that stuff—will be like, ‘Oh, he’s kind of cool, but he’s not so far to the left that I’m not cool with that.’ But deep down he’s low-key progressive,” Ngyuen said in the video.
“Jon is genuine to a certain point, but he can’t show his true self 100 percent of the time,” Nguyen said. “That’s the tough part of the campaigning in purple or red states.”
He added that the reason Ossoff keeps his progressive views under wraps in Georgia is “because the people here are not open-minded.”
The post has attracted renewed interest on Twitter as voters head to the polls on Tuesday, with one commenter posting on Monday, “He is basically calling us irredeemable deplorables,” while another wrote, “don’t be fooled, he’s a radical leftist.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Ossoff campaign for comment on the video and its central claims.
Polls in Georgia opened at 7 a.m., with two Senate seats up for grabs. Ossoff is competing for the seat that was held by David Perdue until Sunday, when his term expired. Perdue beat Ossoff in the general election in November by over 88,000 votes, but fell short of avoiding a runoff.
A polling average by FiveThirtyEight shows Ossoff ahead by 1.8 percentage points—Ossoff with 49.1 percent and Perdue with 47.4 percent.
In the other runoff, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) is facing pastor Raphael Warnock.
Loeffler, 50, a businesswoman and part owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, had never been in office before last year. Warnock, 51, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, has never held office.
A polling average by FiveThirtyEight shows Warnock ahead by 2.1 percentage points—Warnock with 49.4 percent and Loeffler with 47.2 percent.
Two wins by Democrats, along with securing the White House, would deliver a Senate majority through the tiebreaking vote a vice president can cast in their role as president of the Senate. Otherwise, Republicans retain control of the body. The current composition of the upper chamber is 50 Republicans and 49 Democrats.
The races have attracted outsized attention and funding because of the stakes.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, along with a slew of Republican lawmakers, have campaigned in recent weeks with Loeffler and Perdue, urging voters to choose them by focusing on what may happen if Republicans are made the minority in the Senate.
“They’ll massively raise your taxes on the middle class to pay for socialism,” Trump told a crowd in Dalton on Monday night. “The damage they do will be permanent and will be irreversible. These Senate seats are truly the last line of defense.”
Trump praised Perdue as one of his strongest allies in Washington, calling the vote he cast for the tax reform bill critical. Loeffler is a committed defender of Second Amendment rights, he added, and helped confirm Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the court.
Biden, meanwhile, told a rally in Atlanta that voting for Warnock and Ossoff would lead to $2,000 direct payments and “break the gridlock that has gripped Washington and this nation.”
“With their votes in the Senate, we’ll be able to make the progress we need to make on jobs and health care and justice and the environment and so many other things,” he added.
Over 962,000 mail ballots were received in the races as of Jan. 4, Gabriel Sterling with the secretary of state’s office told reporters, with just over 281,000 still outstanding.
Early in-person votes amounted to 2.07 million.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.