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December 2, 2020

Georgia Republicans Must Unify or Risk Losing Senate

Fratricidal infighting is only going to help the two Democrat candidates.

If anything, the campaign for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seat runoffs is even more chaotic and contentious than the general election. It’s become a perfect storm of legitimate concerns, unfounded conspiracies, process ignorance, political brinksmanship, and fratricidal infighting. And it threatens to hand Democrats these critical Senate seats.

According to election results certified by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Joe Biden won Georgia by a narrow 12,000-vote margin. President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed the results are fraudulent, focusing on issues surrounding signature verification on absentee ballots and the unusually low number of rejected absentee ballots.

This has stoked fierce anger and frustration among his loyal supporters. That’s certainly understandable, but it’s being directed toward fellow Republicans — Governor Brian Kemp, Secretary Raffensperger, and, shockingly, even against Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are now fighting for their political lives. Both Perdue and Loeffler closely tied themselves to President Trump during the election campaign, a fact that hurt them with voters in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, which hold a large number of traditionally Republican voters who simply don’t like Trump.

Unfortunately, frustration is not always properly focused and, ironically, in this case is often directed at the grassroots party officers and activists who have worked the hardest to reelect Trump.

As a GOP county chairman in Georgia, I’ve received literally hundreds of calls since the election from angry and distraught Trump supporters who feel the election was stolen. Some complaints are legitimate or understandable, like concerns surrounding the March consent decree between the Georgia Democrat Party and Secretary Raffensperger, which many argue makes absentee ballot voter fraud easier, though Raffensperger disputes that claim.

Other complaints are from people who have never been directly involved in the election process before, so they don’t have the knowledge or experience to separate fact from fiction. For example, I’ve received countless calls from people saying they received multiple absentee ballots, when what they actually received were absentee ballot applications.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Democrats have spent the better part of the last decade filing lawsuits to weaken Georgia’s election security, and then dumping mountains of fraudulent voter applications on the secretary of state only to then claim racism when they are rejected. This was primarily the work of the New Georgia Project, founded by failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (who, Democrats should note, has still not conceded the 2018 election to Kemp) and run by CEO Raphael Warnock — the same radical leftist currently running against Senator Loeffler.

Secretary Raffensperger is currently investigating the New Georgia Project for attempting to register non-Georgians to vote in Georgia, which is a felony.

Even so, at this point, the biggest problem is that President Trump, who loves to speak in hyperbole, is not differentiating between legitimate issues with the election process and the human error that occurs with every election. And he is attacking his Republican allies in the process.

President Trump recently tweeted of Governor Kemp, a loyal ally, “The governor’s done nothing. … I’m ashamed that I endorsed him.” For “good” measure, he added that Kemp is “hapless.” Trump’s attacks on Raffensperger for his handling of the election resulted in Raffensperger having to accept a security detail after receiving death threats.

It should be noted that Georgia law prohibits Governor Kemp from intervening in elections, which are the jurisdiction of the secretary of state, an elected, constitutional office. Elections themselves are administered at the county level and then certified by the secretary of state.

President Trump has demanded an audit of signature matches on absentee ballots, but this is impossible. Envelope signatures are verified by county elections boards before tabulating, and then the ballots are separated from the envelopes to protect ballot secrecy. There is no way to reunite them.

Lin Wood, an Atlanta attorney and Trump ally litigating voter fraud, recently tweeted to his 700,000 followers that they should motivate Senators Perdue and Loeffler to demand action regarding the November 3 election by “threaten[ing] to withhold your votes & money.” He later tweeted about boycotting the runoff election.

This is insanity of the highest order, and the danger here cannot be overstated.

President Trump rightly rejected that call, tweeting, “No, the 2020 Election was a total scam … but we must get out and help David and Kelly, two GREAT people. Otherwise we are playing right into the hands of some very sick people.” His son, Donald Jr., has launched a super PAC to win these seats and recently tweeted, “I’m seeing a lot of talk from people that are supposed to be on our side telling GOP voters not to go out & vote for @KLoeffler and @PerdueSenate. That is NONSENSE. IGNORE those people. We need ALL of our people coming out to vote for Kelly & David.”

The issues of voter fraud are now the purview of the courts. But if the courts’ decisions in litigation continue to go against President Trump, and Biden becomes president, losses by Perdue and Loeffler in these runoffs would create a 50-50 split in the Senate, giving Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote.

Harris is currently the Senate’s most left-wing member, but it’s worth noting that neither of the Georgia Democrat candidates are remotely like old-school Southern Democrats Zell Miller or Sam Nunn. Warnock and Jon Ossoff are radical leftists who want to defund the police, socialize healthcare, raise taxes, gut the military, pass the Green New Deal, etc.

One of President Trump’s greatest successes was in motivating and inspiring millions of Americans who had not voted in years, or ever, to come out and actually do so. Many of these voters are not traditional Republicans but are instead Trump loyalists. If Trump supporters don’t turn out for Perdue and Loeffler, it could be devastating.

In 2018, with Democrat Stacey Abrams crying voter suppression, I wrote, “How fitting it would be if Abrams lost a close race because she convinced her own voters that their votes wouldn’t count.”

It would be tragic if President Trump’s legacy, all of the phenomenal good he has accomplished, were destroyed because his supporters didn’t turn out to vote in the January 5 runoffs, convinced that Georgia’s elections were rigged with the aid of allegedly traitorous Republican leaders or that their votes didn’t count.

But that is exactly what gleeful Democrats are banking on.

Republicans need to unify immediately to save these Senate seats and to save President Trump’s legacy.

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