After Mr. Warnock largely escaped criticism in the November election, when Ms. Loeffler was focused on fending off a challenge from her right, he came in for particularly harsh criticism.
Republicans spotlighted Mr. Warnock’s most controversial sermons and portrayed him as a critic of the military and law enforcement, potent attacks in Georgia, even as Mr. Warnock rebutted them. Mr. Warnock sought to defuse the attacks and soften his image by airing tongue-in-cheek commercials featuring him with a puppy.
Advertising by Republicans was full of ominous warnings that the country would slide into a morass of hard-left socialism if the two Democrats were to win. At the rally on Monday, Mr. Trump warned that Democrats would “turn America into Venezuela, with no jobs, no prosperity, no rights, no freedom, no future for you and your family.”
Mr. Ossoff also took some hard shots at Mr. Perdue, calling him a “crook” over controversial stock trades the senator made, while accusing him of trying to profit off the coronavirus pandemic, something Mr. Perdue denies.
Neither party lacked for resources to make its arguments. These were the most expensive Senate contests in U.S. history. Including the campaigning before the runoff, more than $469 million was spent in the Perdue-Ossoff contest, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and more than $362 million was dedicated to the Loeffler-Warnock race.
That the races were competitive at all was a testament to the changing nature of Georgia.
Though dominated by Republicans for much of the past two decades, the state is shifting because of an influx of newcomers, immigrants and American-born voters, chasing warm weather and Sun Belt opportunity.
And the two Senate races were pushed into runoffs by some of the defining forces shaping national politics.