Republicans Brace For Donald Trump’s Georgia Rally, Some Fear He’ll Undermine GOP Chances Of Holding Senate
President Donald Trump has refused to concede the 2020 presidential election, spending the past few weeks alleging widespread voter fraud. Some Republicans fear that his claims could depress the conservative base and allow Democrats to win full control of the U.S. Congress, according to a Friday report from The Washington Examiner.
On Saturday, Trump will fly into Georgia and hold a rally to express support for Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who have to defend their seats in order for the GOP to keep control of the upper chamber.
Both Loeffler and Perdue will have to fend off formidable Democratic challengers, so turnout could be crucial.
In an open letter, 19 prominent Georgia Republicans warned that Trump could further depress conservative-leaning voters if he focuses on spreading baseless allegations of electoral fraud.
“We have watched with increasing concern as the debate surrounding the state’s electoral system has made some within our party consider whether voting in the coming runoff election matters.”
Several GOP operatives based in the Peach State also suggested that the Saturday event may well determine the outcome of the two key runoffs.
“If he comes down here and paints a stark picture of what a Democrat-controlled Washington would mean, the importance of reelecting Loeffler and Perdue to preserve his legacy… then that is a turnout message,” said strategist Brian Robinson.
The rally, he added, “needs to be forward-looking, not backwards-looking, and it needs to unify Georgia Republicans.”
Don Cole, former chairman of the Crisp County Republican Party, said that Trump’s visit could also re-energize the base because Georgians who think the presidential race was “stolen” from him will attend the event.
Trump has implicated local Republicans in his unfounded theories about the 2020 presidential election. For weeks, he has been slamming Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Some Republicans reportedly fear that he will mention them at the rally, which could prompt “lock them up” chants.
Lawyers affiliated with the Trump campaign have not exactly helped the GOP either. Earlier this week, attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell openly encouraged Republicans to abstain from voting in the January runoffs.
“We’re not going to go vote on Jan. 5 on another machine made by China. You’re not going to fool Georgians again,” Wood told a crowd of pro-Trump protesters.
According to a SurveyUSA poll commissioned by 11Alive, both runoffs will be competitive. The survey put Loeffler 7 percentage points behind Democrat Raphael Warnock. Perdue and his opponent, Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, were effectively tied. Among Republicans, Loeffler polled at 92 and Perdue at 96 percent.