“We’re all scared. I think the Democrats are also a little worried that the below-average turnout will negatively affect your party,” said Rich McCormick, a Republican who was defeated in his suburban Atlanta seat bid in November “So I don’t think it’s about Trump. I think it will be about how people see politics in general. “
Trump is half of a split screen of the president hitting Georgia on the eve of the runoff election: President-elect Joe Biden will also be promoting Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in an Atlanta auto campaign. But it’s the outgoing president – the audio tape released on Sunday and his rally on Monday evening – who dominates the conversation.
Republicans and Democrats warned of fatigue among voters this weekend, who had been bombarded with advertising for almost a year, noting that voter turnout in the primary period was lower than in the November election, although the Democrats stepped in on Tuesday a little better position than in the general election.
“I’m glad the president is involved. Because when it comes to burnout, he’s one of the people who motivates people,” added McCormick. “So thank goodness for the president this way.”
For this reason, Republicans have long viewed Trump as their greatest asset in races where victory or defeat depends on how many of Trump’s supporters are in attendance on election day. But it comes at a difficult time for the GOP when some of Trump’s fringe supporters demand that voters boycott the election altogether over the president’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in the November election.
“The biggest challenge is making sure people come out and vote,” Loeffler said bluntly as he fought in the Atlanta area on Monday morning before rallying with Trump later that night.
Loeffler, Perdue, and their alternates openly acknowledge the Democratic turnout that has been provided for years by party leaders like Stacey Abrams, whose work could be crucial in handing control of the Senate to the Democrats.
Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told colleagues on a GOP conference call in the Senate last week that the party had “a distinctly bumpy road to victory” and that the races were a “leap” Ball ”, so two people who are familiar with the call.
Young said the wild card marked Trump’s state visit on Monday and the impact on election day turnout that Republicans are counting on after largely avoiding the primary election. Young added that the president had a history of benefiting the GOP’s turnout and had come together to “preserve his legacy.” But it also did not exceed expectations.
“I want everyone to leave this call with hope – but with high-spirited expectations,” Young said, according to those familiar with the call.
As before the competitions in November, the Democrats recorded strong votes as the Republicans doubled down on their strategy of gushing polls on Tuesday.
“The thing that makes you nervous as a Republican is that our votes come in on election day,” said David McIntosh, a former Indiana congressman the president of the Conservative group Club for Growth, which hosted an event on Sunday with Trump allies like Corey Lewandowski, Kellyanne Conway and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
“You just have to wait for them to show up,” added McIntosh.
Republicans who fought for Loeffler and Perdue nationwide over the weekend admitted that GOP voters believed the presidential election had been stolen due to Trump’s false fraud allegations and accepted them right away when the party was concerned about Trump’s Unintentional broadsides would be the result of an oppressive turnout.
“Are you going to try to steal it? Yes. But I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’ll win with a big enough lead. Nobody is stealing the state of Georgia, ”Cruz told supporters in Cumming, Georgia on Saturday.
Greg Dolezal, a Georgia state senator, said in an interview after the Cumming rally that several of his constituents threatened to stay home Tuesday in protest of Biden’s victory. “It worries me,” said Dolezel. “No matter how angry you are about what happened in November, you don’t just take the toys and go home.”
The vast majority of Georgians who participated in rallies and voting events in the last leg of the campaign had already voted. Both sides have recognized that it was a long time ago to convince people. It’s about finding out those who haven’t voted yet.
At almost every GOP event across the state this weekend, speakers asked how many voters had voted early and the majority of hands would go up. The candidates or their proxies would offer different variations on the same topic: Make sure everyone you know votes. Loeffler encouraged supporters to call five friends at a small rally in Cartersville town. Cruz encouraged a large gathering of over a hundred people at an amphitheater in Sugar Hill to make a list of 10 people to call.
Perdue said at a rally in Lafayette late last week before campaigning for quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, calling on supporters in a crowded bank parking lot, “Guys that you don’t want to call. I don’t care, call someone Take them out to vote. “
Perdue, whose seat is technically vacant after the end of his tenure in the Senate on Sunday with the conclusion of the 116th Congress, will remain in quarantine until Monday. He told Fox News Monday morning that he would “virtually” take part in the Trump rally.
The twin breeds were quickly nationalized, particularly with control of the Senate. At a promotional event for Ossoff in Savannah on Sunday, Miguel Taylor prepared to knock on doors after crossing the state lines of neighboring South Carolina, where he lives.
“I realize that the things I want to get done in America are the only way I can support Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock,” said Taylor. “None of this will happen if McConnell is still the majority leader. I’m angry and confused why not every elected Democrat is conquering Georgia right now. “
By waiting for election day to vote, GOP voters could be swayed by Trump’s last-minute wavering rhetoric and general run-off news that Republican surrogate mothers have admitted could cause trouble for the party.
Bruce Thompson, a U.S. state senator, introduced Loeffler at an event on Sunday evening outside a Canton, Cherokee County’s brewery that Trump led by nearly 70 percent in November. He told the crowd that the number of voters who voted in November but not yet in the runoff election was “appalling”. He said there is “no do-over if we screw this up on Tuesday.”
“I know that anything can happen between now and Tuesday and on Tuesday whether someone votes,” Thompson said in an interview after the rally. “Personally, I think it would have made more sense if we had got people to say, ‘Hey, listen, if you were unhappy with November 3rd, this is your opportunity to speak up through early voting. “
Democrats have encouraged their constituents not to stand behind the high turnout or join the idea that GOP voters could stay home.
“These early numbers look fabulous. But guess what? The other side won’t come out until election day, ”said Deborah Gonzalez, a newly elected district attorney, ahead of an Ossoff rally this weekend in front of a crowd outside Athens City Hall. “Jan. 5, they come out in force. Don’t think they’re staying home. You will come out. We have to get out too. “
Quint Forgey in Washington contributed to this report.