Republican strategists are signaling that the Georgia runoffs featuring Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are even more important than the 2020 general election, especially with some in President Donald Trump’s camp — and often times the president himself — claiming the state’s election process is corrupt.
The Daily Caller spoke to a number of Republican strategists and those familiar with Georgia elections, and while they didn’t definitively say Trump and his supporters’ claims were hurting, they certainly indicated they weren’t helping the GOP maintain its majority in the Senate.
Loeffler is running against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock, while Perdue faces a rematch against his own Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff. Both elections are scheduled to be held on January 5, 2021. Republicans currently hold a two seat advantage in the Senate.
Ford O’Connell, who worked on the 2008 Senate runoff in Georgia, told Daily Caller that Georgia voters should be concerned about “irregularities” in the 2020 general election but still urged them to vote for Loeffler and Perdue to maintain the GOP’s slim Senate majority.
“Trump supporters are right to be livid, there are voter irregularities in plain sight, which the Democrats and many in the mainstream media choose to flat-out ignore,” he explained. “But sitting out the most important non-presidential election in the last 50 years will give the Democrats complete control of the federal government and the keys to destroy not only ‘The Make America Great Again’ agenda but also the strong legacy of President Trump, rendering the last four years useless.” (RELATED: Georgia Dem Senate Candidate Raphael Warnock Criticized Second Amendment Multiple Times In His Sermons)
Ballard Partners’ Adam Goodman told Daily Caller, however, that the “rigged election” claims won’t actually “hurt” the GOP, and predicted that Trump’s claims will force “the way the vote is processed in January [to] be under a microscope.”
“Officials will bend over backwards to enforce the rules,” he continued. “This process should prove better, cleaner and clearer than ever.”
Since election night, the president has constrained his comments on the Georgia races to Twitter but will head to the Peach State on Saturday to hold his first rally in support of Loeffler and Perdue. Vice President Mike Pence has also already held multiple campaign events for the pair of Senators, and his office announced Monday that he will join Trump on stage Saturday and hold another solo rally on Friday in the state.
Meanwhile, Trump has openly criticized Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who said President Trump threw him under the bus despite the fact that his family voted for him and donated money to his campaign. (RELATED: Georgia Secretary Of State Says Trump Threw Him ‘Under The Bus’ — ‘Family Voted For Him, Donated To Him’)
Raffensperger and Georgia’s Voting System Implementation Manager Gabriel Sterling held a press conference on Monday, in which they stated that “dishonest actors” are “exploiting the emotions of many Trump supporters with fantastic claims, half-truths, misinformation, and frankly, they are misleading the president as well.”
NEW: Georgia elections chief Brad Raffensperger: “There are those who are exploiting the emotions of many Trump supporters with fantastic claims, half-truths, misinformation—and frankly, they are misleading the president as well, apparently.” https://t.co/EbS7Y9pBmV pic.twitter.com/xK5FHIFQCo
— ABC News (@ABC) November 30, 2020
Trump also went after Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Monday, claiming on Twitter that Kemp was avoiding using his “emergency powers” to investigate the general election, which would uncover a “goldmine” of “fraud.” (RELATED: Republican Georgia Secretary Of State Slams ‘Dishonest Actors’ For ‘Misleading’ POTUS On Dominion)
A number of Senators and well-known politicians have been campaigning in the state and donating money from their own operations to help the two candidates win their runoff races in January, as they are expected to be the most expensive Senate races in history.