On Sunday night, amid a wave of events to close the campaign, President Donald Trump will find himself in Rome, Georgia, as he plays defense to try not to lose a state that has not opted in for a Democrat in the presidential race since 1992.
And that Trump must spend the crucial last minutes of the campaign in what was once considered a reliable Red Georgia has not been lost on some Republicans elsewhere in the state like Larry Odum, the Republican chairman of Appling County. who told the Daily Beast worries me he has to come back so late.
“I would think our state would be stronger for Republicans than that,” said Odum, who is still convinced the state won’t go blue. “But there is a lot of money being shipped to Georgia to try to sway voters the other way.”
The presence of former President Barack Obama on the eve of the election makes things even smoother in the state. The fact that Obama is spending time on Monday campaigning in Georgia is just another sign that Democrats are trying to make a major play in the southern state which has not turned blue in a presidential race since Bill Clinton won it in 1992.
Obama’s visit boosts Democrat morale and energizes the grassroots at a pivotal moment in the state, said Fulton County Democratic President LeWanna Heard Tucker.
“And the fact that Trump and Pence and everyone are making these stops in Georgia tells us they’re scared,” Tucker said. “They’re throwing out everything they’ve got on it right now and it’s great. We will do our part to make sure that we get every vote and that every vote that has been cast is counted. “
Polls showed a close race in the state’s major races, including contests for its two seats in the US Senate currently under GOP control. And in the presidential competition, a Monmouth poll released on Wednesday showed Biden to lead registered voters in Georgia by five points and with a narrower lead in two different participation models.
In Floyd County, Georgia, where Trump will gather on Sunday, local GOP Chairman Luke Martin noted that Republicans and Democrats “wouldn’t spend the money to come here … if they didn’t think so. not that Georgia was at stake. ”
“It shows it’s at least possible, so that’s what it is,” Martin said. If Democrats manage to win the state’s 16 electoral votes, it could constitute a victory that could reduce Trump’s chances of re-election.
But Martin said he expected the president to visit their area. And as for Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is officially set to win a US House seat in this election, even after her campaign has been dominated by her ties to the baseless QAnon plot, Martin has said she “has put a lot of work into getting the president here.
“I think it’s a reflection of the polls, everyone sees what they are, that it’s tight here, and the president has to win here,” Martin said. “So yeah, don’t worry. We’re just happy he’s here.”
Georgia has gotten particularly hot at this point in the cycle with not only the presidential race, but two key Senate seats up for grabs in the GOP’s long southern state. The Senate races have become particularly close, with incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue (R-GA) trying to push back a determined effort by Democrat Jon Ossoff who lost a special election for a seat in Congress in 2017.
“GEORGIA IS * THE STATE OF * BATTLE GROUND”, Ossoff tweeted following the announcement of Obama’s visit.
At the same time, state Republicans have shown clear divisions for the other seat of the state Senate. Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) has been appointed to replace Johnny Isakson, instead of Trump’s preferred congressional representative Doug Collins (R-GA). But it has created a situation where Collins and Loeffler are locked in a close right-wing battle in an open election where instead of leading a primary, all candidates from either party run against each other. ‘other. In this race, Democrats have largely united around Reverend Raphael Warnock. And the political drama between Loeffler and Collins could mean that Warnock is able to surprise and win the siege.
Both Senate races have the potential to go into a second round, which happens if no candidate obtains a majority of the votes according to Georgian law, which will be held on January 5, 2021. And given the Developments at the national level, this date could help decide which party controls the Senate.
In his appearance on Monday, Obama will be touting Ossoff and Warnock’s candidacies, according to the announcement on Saturday of former campaign chairman Biden’s trip. Biden himself was in the state one week before election day, where he appeared in Warm Springs and Atlanta.
Trump last gathered in Georgia in mid-October during an appearance in Macon. The rally also led Perdue to become embroiled in the controversy after repeatedly mispronouncing the name of Democratic running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, on stage, a misstep Ossoff quickly jumped on. The Democrat also took on Perdue on Twitter for skipping a final Senate debate, with the senator’s campaign citing Trump’s rally on Sunday as the reason.
“Senator Perdue will not participate in the WSB-TV debate but will join 45th President Donald J. Trump for a huge Get-Out-The-Vote rally in Northwest Georgia,” said director of communications of Perdue, John Burk, in a statement.
Elsewhere in the state, as Carvel Lewis predicted a victory for Trump in Georgia, he did not show the same confidence that Trump could win the election as a whole.
The Republican leader of Quitman County, who is also chairman of the local county commission, said the visit of the Daily Beast Trump “tried to strengthen his base” as he worked to get them to the polls in Georgia .
“It would be great if he could spend that time visiting more cities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida or North Carolina, some of the other places I think it will be closer,” Lewis said of the time Trump was taking in Georgia. rally Sunday.
The president’s Sunday night visit to Georgia comes amid a three-day rush to close the campaign that has 14 stops in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa and North Carolina, as well as Wisconsin and Florida .
And Ken Carroll, a member of the State Committee of the Republican Party of Georgia, has always maintained that Georgia will turn red and that “if Democrats think Georgia is at stake and they want to spend their resources here, then it is ‘is good for us’.
With that in mind, he made it clear “that there might be other places where (Trump’s) time could be better spent”, so close to Election Day, “because we’re going to deliver for the President.”
“I think it’s an unfounded concern on the president’s part, but I’d much prefer to see him elsewhere because there are other states that are going to need him more than we do,” Carroll said.
– With additional reporting from Sam Brodey
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