The latter view has drawn the top Republicans from Georgia, who have fixed Trump’s false narrative that the election was stolen.
U.S. Sen. David Perdue and Loeffler – who both rally voters to “hold the line” in the GOP-controlled Senate – led the indictment to appease Trump and demanded Raffensperger’s resignation without publicly citing any evidence to justify their call. Other Republicans have criticized his oversight of the vote without going so far as to ask for his removal.
Raffensperger has fired back with a fact check to dispel the conspiracy theories spread by Trump and his allies. He called Trump’s Georgia head a “liar,” claimed senators “folded like a cheap suit,” and said the president wrote his own defeat by casting doubt on mail-in votes.
It all happens as Democrats aim for historic victories. Joe Biden became the first Democratic White House to be hopeful of conquering the state since 1992. In the runoff, Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are knocking on a rival party that is unclear.
Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate Jon Ossoff, right, and Raphael Warnock, recognize a crowd of supporters during a meeting of the Cobb Civic Center on Sunday, November 15, 2020 in Marietta, Ga. (John Amis / Atlanta Journal & Constitution via AP)
Credit: John Amis
Credit: John Amis
“We take a good look at who the adults are in the party and who the charlatans are,” said Karla Jacobs, a conservative writer and activist who is an outspoken critic of Trump.
“The GOP has to decide who they want going forward. Will they become a party with rude loud culture warriors, or will they become a party with a sound government? They cannot be both, and of course they cannot form a lasting coalition across the country by trying to be both. ”
In the middle of the vortex, of course, stands Trump. His loyal base will make or break Republican hopes of maintaining control of the Senate, and state leaders fool around on even the most shimmering steps toward accepting his defeat for fear of making him furious and provoking one of his famous tweet storms.
It will have a real consequence of the runoff on January 5th. During a normal election, the two current powers would quickly make the case that a Republican-controlled Senate would serve as the control of a future President Biden. But it also means acknowledging Biden’s victory, which they have not yet done.
Perdue addressed the balancing act in a friendly Fox News interview last week about his chances in the runoff.
“It could go both ways. There are many voters who are Trump voters in Georgia who are discouraged. They are angry because they think the president did not get a reasonable shake in Georgia, “he said, adding:” We need to convince people that their vote is counted and counted accurately. “
Interviews with more than a dozen Republican officials and activists reflected the bias.
Most privately expressed fears that the GOP war, along with Trump’s false allegations of fraud, risks alienating independent voters who typically vote Republican but took sides with Biden this year. Only a handful of previously elected officials would speak openly about their concerns.
“I am concerned that everyone is so afraid of insulting Trump that it stifles them from being able to focus on moving on to the task ahead, which wins the Senate,” said Allen Peake, a former GOP state legislator from Macon.
“If you are an elected official and want a future in politics, fear Trump’s anger. And for me, it’s not a healthy scenario. ”
Senators David Perdue, left, Kelly Loeffler, center and Florida Senator Rick Scott, right, joined a rally on Friday, November 13, 2020 at the Black Diamond Grill in Cumming, GA. Both Georgia candidates are heading for a January by-election. (Jenni Girtman for Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Credit: Jenni Girtman
Credit: Jenni Girtman
The former US rep. Lynn Westmoreland urged Raffensperger and other government officials to take a stronger stand on the unfounded allegations of fraud or risk more Georgians who “might throw up their hands and say ‘Why vote?'”
“Everyone in politics needs to be aware of this, but the longer this goes on, the worse the disgust gets,” he said. “When these rumors and accusations get out there, more black helicopter theories appear.”
The divisions also anticipated an unstable election for Government Brian Kemp, Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Duncan and other Republicans in 2022, when not only likely to face a Democratic ticket led by Stacey Abrams, but also potential primary challenges backed by Trump.
This is because the president has vented his anger over both Raffensperger and Kemp, who play a small role in the election but have been the target of Trump’s hostility before. He was repeatedly insulted by Trump for having recurring pandemic restrictions and mocked for his decision to elect Loeffler to the Senate.
The governor, meanwhile, has especially stayed out of the controversy, though Trump tweets broad pages aimed at Kemp and urging him to “get tough.” Filled with Trump’s tweets, some of the president’s supporters want him to take extreme – and impossible – steps to prevent Georgia from certifying the vote.
A group of dozens of far-right protesters, led by provocateur Alex Jones, marched on the state Capitol to demand a “special session now” – though Kemp and other heads of state have downplayed the idea, saying it would result in “endless lawsuits.”
Confused Democratic State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick took the stage just outside the State House, chuckling at their demand that Kemp be charged and for lawmakers to return to Atlanta.
“Why? No one could formulate it for me.”
Other Republicans from Georgia have opened fire. Duncan angered some conservatives by going on CNN to reinforce the fact that there was no evidence of systemic voice fraud in Georgia.
The man he bestowed in a bitter 2018 GOP runoff for Lieutenant Governor David Shafer is now the president of the Republican Party and has aggressively promoted Trump’s false allegations of fraud. He also urged private Republicans to refute the narrative “Raffensperger / Duncan” and raise questions about a possible rematch with Duncan in 2022.
Some party leaders are trying to divert attention from Trump and toward the Senate race. Republican strategist Karl Rove, who has recognized Biden’s victory, helped launch a national effort to raise cash for runoff candidates called the Georgia Battleground Fund.
One of the Georgians involved in the initiative is Eric Tanenblatt, a longtime operator who has played a key role in other Republican runoffs. In an interview, he preferred to focus on the coming weeks when the election result is certified and the investigation is complete.
“As soon as this comes behind us, the better. I just think people are very passionate and they are very disappointed, ”he said. “But they have to come to terms with the result. And once we get past this, we consolidate and live to fight another day. ”