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Politics Republicans scramble to counter calls to boycott Georgia runoffs

22:31  03 december  2020
22:31  03 december  2020 Source:   thehill.com

How Trump’s conspiracy theories have inspired some supporters to boycott the Georgia runoffs

  How Trump’s conspiracy theories have inspired some supporters to boycott the Georgia runoffs Lying to his supporters about elections being rigged is having an unintended consequence.Democrats can take control of the US Senate if both Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeat Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the upcoming runoffs. But Trump has been hurting his party’s cause by attacking two state Republican officials — Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican Trump has demeaned as a “RINO,” or Republican in name only — for their supposed involvement in a far-fetched scheme to throw the state’s presidential election for Joe Biden. (In reality, both Raffensperger and Kemp are Trump supporters.

Trump himself has sown doubts about the integrity of the runoff , which will determine whether Republicans maintain control of the Senate.

Trump supporters in Georgia vow to destroy the Republican Party if Trump doesn't win pic.twitter.com/04dPRQFfC0. While in-person protests urged officials to call the election for Trump, a number of Republicans on the "free-speech" social media website Parler have demanded a boycott

Calls by attorneys Lin Wood and Sydney Powell for Georgia voters to boycott two crucial Senate runoffs in January are sparking panic among Republicans, who fear that the duo's remarks could cost them much-needed votes.

a close up of Sidney Powell: Republicans scramble to counter calls to boycott Georgia runoffs © The Hill Republicans scramble to counter calls to boycott Georgia runoffs

Wood and Powell, a former lawyer for the Trump campaign, have waged a series of legal battles in recent weeks challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election. But they turned heads on Wednesday when they urged Trump's supporters at a rally in Alpharetta, Ga., not to vote in the January runoffs to protest the state's elections process.

Trump tells Georgia not to boycott the runoffs or GOP will lose Senate

  Trump tells Georgia not to boycott the runoffs or GOP will lose Senate The president tweeted his support of the two Republican candidates Friday morning calling them 'GREAT people' and saying he will visit the state this week ahead of January's runoffs.The president tweeted his support of the two Republican candidates Friday morning calling them 'GREAT people' and saying he will make a trip to the state this weekend, after his election fraud claims have led some of his own supporters to consider abstaining from voting in January.

Lin Wood addresses growing controversy over boycotting Georgia Senate runoff … Will Republican counters be well represented? What are the rules for being able to view ballots? Georgia republicans would be foolish to boycott the upcoming Senate runoff election.

"Will be going to Georgia for a big Trump Rally in support of our two great Republican Senators, David and The rally is scheduled a day after Vice President Mike Pence will hold his second runoff rally in Perdue and Loeffler called for Raffensperger’s resignation. The January 5 runoffs will determine

Their remarks have set off a scramble among GOP officials, operatives and other prominent Republicans tasked with turning out Trump's loyal base of supporters for Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) in January.

"Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are totally destructive," Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) tweeted on Thursday morning. "Every Georgia conservative who cares about America MUST vote in the runoff. Their dont vote strategy will cripple America."

The fallout from Wood and Powell's rally adds another element of uncertainty to the GOP's runoff efforts. Some Republicans have already expressed concern that Trump's sustained attacks on Georgia's elections process could serve to drive down turnout in January.

Five things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs

  Five things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs All eyes are on Georgia ahead of January's Senate runoffs, which will determine the balance of power in the upper chamber.On Jan. 5, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) will face off against her Democratic challenger, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, while Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) will take on Democrat Jon Ossoff.The two runoffs will come after none of the candidates reached the 50-percent threshold needed to win their respective races.Democrats are hopeful for wins in the Peach State after President-elect Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to flip the state in decades.

President Donald Trump is pushing contradictory messages about Georgia , calling the state's election system fraudulent at the same time he is urging his supporters to turn out for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in twin runoff races that will determine control of the US Senate.

Republicans in Georgia are exasperated with his rhetoric, and they’re publicly urging the president to avoid talking about the Nov. Both Perdue and Loeffler have called on the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to resign, in an overt nod to Trump and his challenges to the Georgia election results.

At their rally on Wednesday, Powell and Wood touted false claims that the presidential election was "rigged" against Trump and urged a crowd of the president's supporters to boycott the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs unless top Georgia officials implement sweeping changes to the state's voting system to guard against what they say is widespread fraud.

Federal and state investigators have uncovered no evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Wood also turned his ire on Loeffler and Perdue, who are both facing competitive runoff elections against well-funded Democrats in January that will determine the balance of power in the Senate in 2021 and beyond.

He urged voters to withhold support from the two Republican incumbents unless they demand that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) call a special session of the state General Assembly to effectively overturn President-elect Joe Biden's win in Georgia.

9 questions about the Georgia Senate runoffs you were too embarrassed to ask

  9 questions about the Georgia Senate runoffs you were too embarrassed to ask The Georgia races will decide which party controls the Senate.There are not one but two runoff Senate elections in Georgia early next year. They have similar dynamics, with Democratic challengers going up against Republican incumbents. One race features a matchup between Sen. David Perdue (R) and Democrat Jon Ossoff, and the other involves Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock.

Now playing: us. Georgia Republican candidate conundrum: Campaigning for Senate runoffs but also pushing narrative of election fraud. Trump feuds with Georgia Republican officials as Senate races loom. New York AG calls Trump’s efforts to subvert the census ‘more anti-immigrant rhetoric’.

Note: For copyright infringement counter claims see the Terms & Conditions. *****News Topic 182***** Lin Wood addresses growing controversy over Republicans boycotting Georgia Senate runoff … https # Republicans # Georgia #LinWood #AlexChristoforou #TheDuran.

"If Kelly Loeffler wants your vote, if David Perdue wants your vote, they've got to earn it. They've got to demand - publicly, repeatedly, consistently," Wood said. "Brian Kemp, call a special session of the Georgia legislature, and if they do not do it, if Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue do not do it, they have not earned your vote."

While the remarks from Wood and Powell largely echoed Trump's own baseless assertions of widespread voter fraud and systemic irregularities in the 2020 election, they also flew in the face of the president's efforts to rally his supporters around Loeffler and Perdue.

The president is set to travel to Georgia on Saturday on behalf of Loeffler and Perdue, and both he and his aides have urged supporters to turn out in January, warning that a lackluster showing for the two Georgia Republicans could cost the GOP its Senate majority.

"Control of the U.S. Senate is on the line and @realDonaldTrump will be rallying Republicans in Georgia this Saturday," Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Trump's campaign, tweeted on Thursday. "It's imperative that we send @Perduesenate and @KLoeffler back to the Senate and elect other Republicans!"

Senate GOP's campaign arm rakes in $75M as Georgia runoffs heat up

  Senate GOP's campaign arm rakes in $75M as Georgia runoffs heat up The Senate GOP's campaign arm raised $75 million over the past month as the battle over two runoffs in Georgia heats up.The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) confirmed to The Hill that it raised $75 million in fundraising from Oct. 15 through Nov. 23. Some of that money was used in the home stretch of the previously scheduled races that took place on Nov. 3, but much of those funds has been targeted toward the Jan. 5 runoff, which will determine which party controls the Senate in the next Congress.The fundraising haul was first reported by Fox News.The two Senate runoffs will pit Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) against Rev.

Republicans currently have the upper hand in the battle for the Senate. The Nov. 3 elections ensured that they will enter the next Congress with at least 50 seats to Democrats' 48. But with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris set to take the White House in January, Democrats need to only win two more seats to gain a controlling vote in the upper chamber.

If Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock are able to take out Perdue and Loeffler in January, it would effectively give the party full control of the government next year.

Even before her remarks at the Wednesday rally in Alpharetta, Powell has proved to be a divisive figure among Republicans. She served as a key member of Trump's legal team in the first few weeks after the Nov. 3 election.

But the president's campaign cut ties with her last month following a series of outrageous claims, including that Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had taken payoffs as part of a scheme to manipulate voting equipment.

Some Republicans have also seized on Wood's voting record in an effort to cast him as an undercover Democrat seeking to undermine the GOP's chances in Georgia. Trump's campaign tweeted a link to a story from the far-right news site Breitbart on Wednesday night detailing Wood's history of donating to Democratic candidates and voting in Democratic primaries.

Trump roils Georgia GOP as party waits to see if presidential visit helps — or hurts — in crucial Senate runoffs

  Trump roils Georgia GOP as party waits to see if presidential visit helps — or hurts — in crucial Senate runoffs The president’s baseless claims of fraud in the November elections have sparked a Republican civil war in the state, where voters will return to the polls on Jan. 5 in a pair of races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate. That war showed no signs of abating this week, with competing GOP factions growing increasingly angry and distrustful of one another.

Gabriel Sterling, the Republican voting systems manager in Georgia who has been critical of Trump in recent days, questioned Wood's political motives at a news conference at the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, pointing to what he said was the attorney's long "Democrat voting record."

"Lin Wood, pacing across the stage, said 'we're not using machines to vote, we shouldn't go out and vote for Sen. Loeffler and Perdue,' " Sterling said. "I find it interesting that somebody who's had a Democrat voting record since 2004 is out there telling Republicans not to vote in an election."

"We encourage all voters to vote in an election," he added. "Democrat, Republican, independent, Green, socialist, you know, libertarian. Whatever party you want to be. Go out and exercise your vote. That's your right as an American."

Wood pushed back on the speculation about his political affiliation, saying that he has long considered himself "nonpartisan" but remained loyal to Trump.

Indeed, while Federal Election Commission filings show that Wood donated to both Democrats and Republicans in past years, he gave almost exclusively to Republican candidates and conservative groups throughout the 2020 election cycle.

Among those who received the most money from Wood: a pro-Trump super PAC, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and a joint fundraising committee affiliated with Perdue.

Failing to convince Gov. Kemp to flip election, Trump vows to 'win back the White House' at Georgia rally .
In a phone call, Gov. Kemp refused Trump's request for a legislative session to appoint a pro-Trump slate to the Electoral College, reports said.Trump did promote incumbent Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler – whose Jan. 5 re-election bids will decide control of the Senate – but framed most of the rally around his own legacy and false allegations about the election.

usr: 23
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