Next in the frenzied rush is President Donald Trump’s own rally on Saturday to elect Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and protect the party’s control of the chamber. Then on Sunday, Loeffler and Warnock will participate in a debate hosted by the Atlanta Press Club.
The focus on Georgia comes as the state is ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. It reported its highest number of cases in a single day on Friday — 5,023 — and saw the postponement of the Georgia-Vanderbilt football game partially because of Covid-19.
The President’s continued refusal to concede has worried Republicans determined to prevent Democratic control of the Senate. A group of prominent Georgia Republicans, including former Gov. Nathan Deal and former Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, released a statement this week urging the party to unify, and shift its attention to electing Loeffler and Perdue.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Saturday dismissed concerns that Trump’s messaging on election integrity could dissuade Georgia Republicans from voting on January 5.
“I think the voters very much support the President. I think they’re concerned with the state and how they administered the election,” she told Fox News, adding, “However, they want to make sure we keep David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in as well, and they can balance both.”
There is little evidence that Trump will stop his unceasing attacks on the democratic process and the state officials in charge of the election.
Pence said on Friday that Republicans need to elect Perdue and Loeffler to defend the Trump administration’s accomplishments over the past four years.
“We need to send them back because the Republican Senate majority could be the last line of defense preserving all that we’ve done to defend this nation, revive our economy, and preserve the God-given liberties we hold dear,” said Pence in Savannah.
While Biden narrowly won Georgia — the first time for a Democratic presidential nominee since Bill Clinton in 1992 — Republicans have a number of advantages in the two races. The state has not sent a Democrat to the Senate in 20 years. Last month, Perdue received tens of thousands of more votes than Ossoff. And Republicans are spending about $38 million more on ads than the Democrats, according to Kantar Media/CMAG data.
“The special election in Georgia is going to determine, ultimately, the course of the Biden presidency,” said Obama at the virtual event on Friday.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Jeremy Diamond, Jason Hoffman and Liz Turrell contributed to this report.