President Donald Trump will be heading down to Georgia on Saturday to stump for incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue before their runoff elections on Jan. 5. Republican strategists are weighing in on how Trump’s presence will affect these two runoffs that will determine which party controls the senate.
With the election approaching, Republican strategists are outlining what Trump and Republicans need to do to win at least one of these runoffs and keep control of the senate. (RELATED: Will Trump’s ‘Rigged Election’ Claims Hurt The GOP’s Chances In Georgia’s Senate Runoffs?)
Will be going to Georgia for a big Trump Rally in support of our two great Republican Senators, David and Kelly. They are fantastic people who love their Country and love their State. We must work hard and be sure they win. #USA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Fox News Contributor Karl Rove wrote an opinion titled “The Election Went Down to Georgia” that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. A long-time Republican strategist, Rove has been heading up the fundraising efforts for Republicans hoping to hold their footing in the senate.
Rove wrote, “The president’s trip to Georgia Saturday will be key,” and outlined what President Trump needs to do to have a positive effect on the eventual outcomes of these two senate runoffs. “Rather than simply vent his grievances, Mr. Trump must remind supporters that no matter how frustrated they are with November’s results, they must turn out for Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler,” Rove said.
“The president can drive that point home by convincing supporters that Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler are their last line of defense. The nation’s fate during the Biden administration—plus much of Mr. Trump’s legacy and his party’s future—may depend on his choice Saturday,” Rove added.
Rove pointed out that the few polls tracking these races show the vote will be close, just like recent major Georgia races—namely the 2018 gubernatorial election and the 2020 presidential election. However, Republicans have reasons to be optimistic, says Rove.
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) December 4, 2020
“Georgia Republicans have the stronger ground game: 1,000 field operatives and thousands of volunteers have already canvassed nearly a million voters,” Rove claims, “Only now have Democrats started to canvass in person.” He also noted that mail-in ballot requests, which can serve as a litmus test for turnout, “is down one-third from the general election, and a greater proportion of them have come from Republicans, according to GOP data analysts.”
Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader and Republican strategist Amy Koch said she is a fan of both Republican senate candidates, “But the infighting is problematic, and both of them have been supportive of the president,” she told Yahoo News. “Now Trump is upset with Georgia because he didn’t win. And you have a fired-up left who just organized something miraculous in Georgia, and that machine can keep rolling,” she added.
The infighting Koch is referencing is Trump’s consternation over the election results in Georgia, where President-elect Joe Biden narrowly edged him out. Trump has called the election results in Georgia fraudulent and has attacked Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state. His actions forced Loeffler and Perdue in a tough spot, either risking state Republican support or the president’s. In the end, Loeffler and Perdue stuck with the president, and called for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to step down.
The “Republican” Governor of Georgia, @BrianKempGA, and the Secretary of State, MUST immediately allow a signature verification match on the Presidential Election. If that happens, we quickly and easily win the State and importantly, pave the way for a big David and Kelly WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2020
An anonymous Republican operative also expressed concerns about the president’s impact on the Georgia runoffs to NBC News. “This is by far the toughest race we will ever navigate,” the operative, which NBC News says is familiar with Perdue’s campaign, said, “It’s the most important, and it is the toughest.”
The operative went on to say, “It’s a very straightforward path, but it’s a very windy road to get there,” according to NBC News. “Right now, I would say, I have never seen the Republican Party more united in understanding what’s at stake and understanding what has to be done to stop it. … People have different priorities in the meantime of what they’re doing,” the strategist added.
Jay Williams, another GOP strategist from Georgia, is not as concerned about Republican voters staying home because of the Trump team contesting the results of the presidential election. Republican voters are not going to “cut off our nose to spite our face,” Williams told NBC News. The only damaging thing Trump could say during the rally in Georgia is “stay home,” according to Williams.
“I can’t tell you how many rank-and-file folks I talk to, and officials, that are just absolutely convinced that there’s this massive voter fraud going on,” said Williams. “So it obviously has some kind of effect. And I think him coming down here actually helps with alleviating that, unless he does say something crazy, but we’ll find out.”