LITHONIA, Ga. — Eight days out from Election Day in Georgia's crucial Senate runoff races, Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are "sounding the alarm" about their ability to keep pace with GOP spending, calling for a "significant increase" in grassroots donations to prevent running out of money.
"To win this election in 8 days, we need to continue our historic efforts to turn out every single voter — but we won't be able to do that if our fundraising revenue continues to fall," Warnock campaign manager Jerid Kurtz and Ossoff campaign manager Ellen Foster wrote in a memo obtained by NBC News.
According to financial disclosure forms, Warnock and Ossoff both raised more than $100 million over the past two months, outraising their Republican opponents, Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, by a significant margin. But GOP outside groups are outspending Democratic groups.
Outside Democrat groups and high-dollar donors spent big to try and help Democrats regain control of the Senate in the last election — pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars in the weeks leading up to November 3rd. Now, after the party performed poorly in down-ballot races, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is no longer meeting with donors, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News.
Schumer is "pessimistic" about Warnock and Ossoff's chances in Georgia next week and doesn't want to ruin donor relationships, the source adds.
"This is absolutely not true and this anonymous 'source' has no idea what they’re talking about, and it's really sad NBC published it. Schumer has diligently made calls and fundraised for both Georgia candidates and is optimistic about their chances in January," said Justin Goodman, a spokesperson for Schumer.
All this has left Warnock and Ossoff relying primarily on small-dollar grassroots donations to fund their campaigns, while Republicans groups spend big on the airwaves on behalf of their candidates.
"Our Republican counterparts don't have to spend as much of their precious resources on TV and can invest in the area that is most important at this stage: direct voter contact," the memo states.
In an election that will likely hinge on how many voters each side can turnout, Democrats warn they may soon have to choose between television ad spending and boots on the ground. "Our campaigns have had to make hard decisions, and right now we cannot afford to cut resources from our field program," the Democratic campaign managers write.
More than 2 million Georgians have already voted early in these runoff elections, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Election Day is next Tuesday, Jan 5.