Trump to travel to Georgia to support Republican Senate candidates in runoff election

Rozina Sabur
·3-min read
Donald Trump announced he would campaign in Georgia next Saturday - Patrick Semansky /AP
Donald Trump announced he would campaign in Georgia next Saturday - Patrick Semansky /AP

Donald Trump vowed to go to Georgia to campaign for the state's Republican Senate candidates as the race to determine control of the chamber heated up.

The US president announced he would lend his support to the hotly contested race, where Republicans are hoping to capture the state's two seats and secure a 52-48 majority in the US Senate.

He made the comments as he committed to leaving the White House in January, the closest he has come to conceding defeat in the presidential election.

Mr Biden, the president-elect, is also expected to travel to Georgia in the coming weeks.

The race will be determined in a runoff on January 5 after candidates in both seats failed to secure 50 per cent of the vote in November's general election.

In one, Republican senator Kelly Loeffler faces Democrat Raphael Warnock, a black pastor at the church where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr preached. In the other, Republican senator David Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 33-year-old media executive.

If Democrats took both of Georgia’s seats it would tie the Senate at 50-50. The vice president casts the tie-breaker vote in the Senate, meaning that as vice president, Kamala Harris would give Democrats control of the chamber.

In such a scenario Democrats would hold the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, giving them complete control of Washington.

If Republicans win the seats, they will be able to block large parts of Mr Biden's legislative agenda and appointees to his cabinet.

The latest polling suggests Mr Perdue holds a slight lead over Mr Ossoff, while Ms Loeffler and Mr Warnock are neck and neck.

Mr Trump's repeated claims of voter fraud have created a dilemma for Republicans in Georgia, who are counting on high turnout among the party's supporters. Some Republicans fear that the president's claims could deter voters.

Mr Trump repeated his claims on Friday, saying people in the state were dealing with "a very fraudulent system", adding "I'm very worried about that".  

Mr Trump refuted reports that some of his supporters planned to boycott the Senate runoff, tweeting: "No, the 2020 Election was a total scam, we won by a lot (and will hopefully turn over the fraudulent result), but we must get out and help David and Kelly, two GREAT people."

The White House said Mr Trump would travel to the state on Saturday, December 5. 

Mr Trump promised to have a "tremendous crowd", adding "this race is far from over". The president hinted that he could make a second trip to support the Republican candidates “depending on how they’re doing.”

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign on Friday lost an appeal to a lawsuit which attempted to have millions of ballots in Pennsylvania thrown out, with US Appeals Court judges citing a lack of evidence in the case.

“Voters, not lawyers, choose the President. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote in the panel's ruling.

Rudy Giuliani, the president's lawyer, has indicated that he ultimately intends to bring the lawsuit to the Supreme Court.