Politics

Trump to hold rally in Georgia on eve of Senate runoff elections

President Trump and the Republican National Committee said Sunday that the president will be holding a rally in Dalton, Georgia, on January 4, the night before the state’s crucial Senate runoff election. Republicans need to hold onto at least one of those Senate seats to keep the Senate majority, while Democrats need to win both to make a 50-50 tie, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote. 

“On behalf of two GREAT Senators, @sendavidperdue & @KLoeffler, I will be going to Georgia on Monday night, January 4th., to have a big and wonderful RALLY. So important for our Country that they win!” Mr. Trump tweeted on Sunday night.

Mr. Trump announced he would be going to Georgia shortly before the White House announced he had signed a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief bill bundled with a $1.4 trillion government spending bill. His refusal to sign the bill for almost a week had put both of the Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, in a rough spot ahead of the runoff, since they both voted for it. Both Perdue and Loeffler immediately issued statements thanking Mr. Trump for the bill. 

Neither Perdue nor Loeffler won 50% of the vote in November, forcing runoff elections. Perdue led Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff, and while Raphael Warnock received the most votes in his race, Loeffler and Republican Congressman Doug Collins combined received more votes than him.

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President Trump Holds Rally In Georgia For Senate Candidates Loeffler And Perdue
President Donald Trump attends a rally in support of Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) on December 05, 2020 in Valdosta, Georgia. The rally with the senators comes ahead of a crucial runoff election for Perdue and Loeffler on January 5th which will decide who controls the United States senate.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images


The race has attracted a significant amount of money, and last week, Ossoff became the best-funded Senate candidate of all time, having raised $107 million between October 15 and December 15 alone. 

At Mr. Trump’s previous rally in Georgia, he falsely insisted “we won the election” and the state in particular. Mr. Trump has refused to concede the general election, and he has singled out Republican election officials in Georgia, which flipped blue for President-elect Joe Biden, when making baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and a rigged election.

With the Electoral College on December 14 confirming Mr. Biden’s win and a slew of lawsuits challenging the election results failing in the courtroom, Mr. Trump has pinned his hopes of overturning the election results on both houses of Congress agreeing to object to the results in several key states when they meet to count the votes on January 6. But Democrats hold a majority in the House of Representatives and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asked GOP senators last week not to object to the election results when the joint session convenes. 

Senator John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota and the majority whip, said the attempt to toss out state electoral votes is “just not going anywhere.”

“In the Senate, it would go down like a shot dog,” Thune told reporters on December 21.

Dalton, where the January 4 rally will be held, is in one of Georgia’s most conservative House districts. In January, the district will be represented by Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has promoted QAnon conspiracy theories and is a staunch ally of Mr. Trump.

The Republican National Committee said all attendees at the Dalton rally will have to undergo temperature checks, will be provided masks that “they are instructed to wear” and will have access to hand sanitizer. The rally is being held at an airport hangar, a familiar venue for Mr. Trump’s rallies before the election.


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