Georgia Republicans are nervous about President Donald Trump's upcoming visit intended to rally support for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in their runoff elections races.
If the president sticks to the script, they're hoping he can boost their chances of holding onto a Senate majority, but they're openly anxious that he'll veer off-course and turn the rally into something else entirely, reported Politico.
“It’s important that Trump comes and focuses on the Senate election and not the other peripheral sideshow of whining and complaining and making baseless accusations,” said Allen Peake, a former state legislator and self-described “mainstream Republican.” “But that’s kind of been his mode for the past four years. I don’t think he will change. So I’m very concerned about this on Saturday.”
Trump is expected to urge his supporters to back Perdue and Loeffler in their Jan. 5 runoffs, but he'll almost certainly spin off some of the conspiracy theories he's been spouting since his election loss last month and start bashing Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger -- two GOP officials he blames for him losing the state.
“If all he does is whine and complain and talk bad about Kemp and the secretary of state, then the trip will be a disaster and he might as well not even come,” Peake said. “This is a crazy time in Georgia politics, that’s for sure.”
That dynamic has pitted Trump's hardcore supporters against more mainstream Republicans, and some right-wingers have called to boycott the election over alleged fraud in the Nov. 3 vote.
“One of those stages of grief, being mad,” said former Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). "It’s a target rich environment for people who are mad, upset, grieving or whatever you want to say. It’s just a cluster.”