Trump set off for Georgia as a participatory driver, but also a threat

ATLANTA (AP) – Some Republicans are warning that Conspiracy’s denial of President Donald Trump’s own defeat could jeopardize the party’s ability to win a majority in the Senate and counterbalance the administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Concerns campaign ahead of Trump’s planned visit to Georgia Saturday. Alongside David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who face strong democratic challenges in the run-up to Jan. 5, which will determine which party will run the Senate at the start of Biden’s presidency.

Republicans recognize Trump as the GOP’s biggest driving force for participation, including in Georgia, where Biden won by less than 13,000 votes out of about 5 million cast. That means every little enthusiasm for one of Trump’s signature meetings can count. Some Republicans are concerned that Trump is using the platform to corroborate his baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud – arguments that have been firmly rejected by state and federal courts across the country. This could make it difficult for Perdue and Loeffler to take the January stake clearly into account and could even deter Republicans from voting.

“The president has basically taken this race hostage,” said Brendan Buck, former chief adviser to house president Paul Ryan.

It is particularly fraught with Trump’s ongoing attacks on Georgian Republican state officials and the state’s electoral system, distracting Loeffler and Perdue’s public praise.

“Trump’s remarks are damaging to the Republican brand,” Republican donor Dan Eberhart argued, adding that the president is “acting with bad athleticism and bad faith,” rather than stressing the need for Republicans to maintain Senate control.

The GOP needs another mandate for the majority. Democrats need Jon Ossoff to defeat Perdue and Raphael Warnock to defeat Loeffler to force a 50-50 senate with Vice President Kamala Harris elected as the draw majority.

Trump blew Governor Brian Kemp on Monday as “unfortunate” for failing to intervene to “override” Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger’s justification for victory. A day earlier, Trump told Fox News he was “ashamed” to have approved Kempp in the governor’s 2018 GOP pre-election. Kemp’s office responded by noting that state laws do not empower Kemp to overthrow the election results, despite Trump’s assertion that Kemp can “easily” invoke “emergency powers”. Meanwhile, Raffensperger, a Trump fan like Kemp, accused the president of “throwing him under the bus” for doing his job.

Perdue and Loeffler tried to stay above the fight.

They have long aligned with Trump and even echoed his general criticisms of the fall election and jointly demanded Raffensperger’s resignation. But the gist of their run-down argument — that Republicans must prevent Democrats from controlling Capitol Hill and the White House — implicitly admits that on January 20, Biden will be inaugurated, not Trump. And Perdue, after a recent campaign deal, is vocal Trump supporters who demanded he do more to make Trump somehow claim Georgia’s 16 voter votes.

Republicans see three possible negative results in Trump flaming.

Some GOP voters could be taken away from voting if they accept Trump’s claims that the system is hopelessly damaged. Some of the Republicans, more loyal to Trump than the party, may completely miss the course because of the anger of the party formation that the president continued to attack. Finally, at the other end of the GOP spectrum are moderate Republicans who have already gone over to help Biden win Georgia, and could be further alienated if the runoff becomes another Trump referendum.

Josh Holmes, chief adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said Republicans “saw no evidence of a lack of enthusiasm in Senate races.”

But none of these potential bad effects should be overwhelmingly knocked out of the course if they get so close to the presidential battle in Georgia.

– We’ll see how he plays. It varies from day to day and from week to week. But it’s very good so far, Holmes said.

In Georgia, all Republican concerns are more cautious.

Brian Robinson, a former adviser to Kemp’s Republican predecessor as governor, said Trump needs to “convey a strong, forward-looking message” about what is at stake for a Republican base that is “enthusiastically devoted”.

“The best thing you can do for the party,” Robinson said, “is to talk about the importance of the Republican Senate majority projecting its political legacy and ensuring that Democrats can’t reverse much of what they did in the Republican-backed place.

Asked what Trump should avoid, Robinson turned back to what he thought the president should say.

Former US MP Jack Kingston, an ally of Trump, underestimated the possibility of the GOP disintegrating, framing the “internal family clash” alongside the “incredible” consequences that determine the course.

“Trump’s followers will follow Trump, but they are not blind to the huge stakes. And neither is he, Kingston said. “You can preserve your heritage. You have to re-elect these people. Trump, Kingston argues, is “interested in the base,” which is a necessary element of any successful run-off campaign, as the second round of elections often reduces voter turnout.

Robinson added that Democrats face their own challenge when they repeat Biden’s record involvement.

“What is the best motivator? Fear, he said. Before November, Democrats feared a second Trump cycle more than Republicans feared losing Trump, Robinson explained. “Republicans have reason to fear now,” he said, because of the prospect that Democrats could control both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

“It could make a difference in the turnout,” Trump can say, Robinson said.

The senators, for their part, will continue to publicly accept Trump before the visit.

“I can’t be happy to welcome the president” back to Georgia, “Loeffler wrote on Twitter after Trump confirmed his plans. Perdue’s campaign quickly restarted the remark, which Loeffler reminded him that the drafts “cover every moment on board”.

However, it is unclear whether all Republicans will be there at all.

Kemp, the governor who appointed Loeffler to Senator Johnny Isakson’s retirement last year, greeted the president on his previous Trump visits when he disembarked from Air Force One. Asking if Georgians will see a similar scene on Saturday, Cody Hall, a Kemp spokesman, said he could not comment yet.


Fram reported from Washington.