Republican pollster Frank Luntz suggested that President Donald Trump’s ongoing election disputes could have “severe consequences” for the GOP senators trying to win runoffs in Georgia.
As Republican Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are campaigning against Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Trump’s campaign has launched a series of lawsuits alleging ballot irregularities in key swing states.
Appearing Monday morning on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Luntz argued that Trump’s contention that “elections were rigged” could “disillusion” the voters Republicans need to win in the state.
“If he continues to disillusion voters … by saying that the elections were rigged and that your vote doesn’t matter, this could have severe consequences for the administration in trying to keep those two seats Republican,” Luntz said. “I would argue that what Donald Trump says and does over the next six weeks is going to determine the outcome of the Georgia Senate race, and well, may determine the outcome of our country overall.”
Luntz also predicted a “slight” turnout advantage for Republicans. He also stated that, while 46% of Georgians would rather elect a Republican senator — which leads Democrats by 4% — another 12% would pick one from each party.
“Now the Democrats have to win both seats for them to gain control of the Senate, so a split vote will not help them,” he said.
“So while they don’t want gridlock, they want to prevent the more extreme elements, the repeal of the tax cuts, creating two new states, packing the Supreme Court, and the only way that they can do that is by voting Republican,” Luntz concluded. (RELATED: Chris Christie Calls Trump Legal Team A ‘National Embarrassment’)
With Republicans at 50 Senate seats and Democrats at 48, the Jan. 5 runoff in Georgia will effectively determine which party controls the chamber for the next two years.