MARIETTA, Ga. — The presidential campaign of 2020 may be decided, but a proxy war between Joe Biden and Donald Trump is still raging in Georgia that will help decide which party will control the U.S. Senate.
President-elect Biden plans to return to the Peach State on Monday to campaign for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, while Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will hit the ground for the two candidates on Sunday.
President Trump plans to attend a Monday night rally in Dalton for Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
With Democrats having gained two Senate seats in the November elections, should Warnock and Ossoff win in their Jan. 5 runoffs against Loeffler and Perdue, the party would achieve a 50-50 tie with the GOP in the upper chamber that would be broken by Harris, the incoming president of the Senate. For that reason, the stakes for both parties could not be higher.
Polls show that both races are incredibly close. According to an aggregation of polls taken in Georgia published by the website FiveThirtyEight, Ossoff leads Perdue by a margin of 48.5 percent to 47.5 percent, while Warnock leads Loeffler 49.2 percent to 47.3 percent.
Those slim margins help explain why Biden, Trump and Harris are all returning to campaign in the state.
“Welcome them, appreciate their support, appreciate their presence,” Ossoff said of Biden and Harris. “This is all about getting out the vote in these final days.”
Just hours after the Democratic campaigns announced on Wednesday that Biden and Harris would be returning to Georgia, Trump took aim on Twitter at the state’s governor, accusing him of complicity in Trump’s loss there.
“@BrianKempGA should resign from office,” Trump wrote. “He is an obstructionist who refuses to admit that we won Georgia, BIG! Also won the other Swing States.”
Georgia counted its votes three times and came up with the same result each time: a Biden victory, the first win by a Democratic presidential nominee in the state since 1992. No credible evidence has surfaced of any widespread election fraud in Georgia.
Ossoff spent Wednesday morning in Marietta at a rally to mobilize support in Georgia’s Latino communities. Asked about Trump’s tweet calling for the governor to resign, Ossoff smiled and shook his head before gathering his thoughts.
“What we are seeing is a coordinated attack on voting rights in Georgia,” he said. “The president’s attempts to overturn the election result … Senators Perdue and Loeffler should show a little bit of spine, a little bit of courage, and defend Georgia against these attacks, even if it’s not politically convenient for them.”
Trump will rally in heavily Republican territory on Monday night, while Biden will be in the comfortably Democratic turf of Atlanta. On Sunday, Harris will be in Savannah, whose surrounding county voted for Biden by a roughly 3-2 margin.
Cover thumbnail photos: Evan Vucci/AP, Patrick Semansky/AP
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