U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday (January 4) hit the campaign trail in Georgia where he told supporters to “watch what happens” as he claimed victory in the southern state, which surprised the nation in November by backing a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in almost three decades.
Trump, who held a rally to support Republican senate candidates warned of dire consequences if Democrats won the two contested seats and gained the majority in the U.S. Senate.
The Georgia races pit a pair of incumbent Republicans, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, against Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.
Biden’s win in what has long been a solidly Republican state has raised liberals’ hopes for Warnock and Ossoff, although they face an uphill battle and need twin victories to deny Republicans a Senate majority they could use to block Biden’s legislative agenda.
A sweep by the two Democrats would hand control to Biden’s party, as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would hold the tiebreaking vote in the 50-50 chamber. That would make it easier for Biden to enact further coronavirus relief and tackle climate change, as Democrats also control the House of Representatives.
None of the Senate candidates won a majority in the Nov. 3 election, which spurred the runoff elections.
Trump continues to assert, without evidence, that his loss in November was the result of widespread voter fraud – a claim that reviews by state and federal election officials, multiple courts and the U.S. Department of Justice have rejected.
In a call on Saturday (January 02) to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Trump pressured the Republican official to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat, and suggested Raffensperger’s failure to alter the November results could hurt Republican turnout in the Senate runoffs.
(Production: Deborah Lutterbeck)