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Split-ticket voters helped Biden win Georgia. Can they aid the GOP in the runoffs?

ATLANTA — A defunct county located in what’s now the heart of Atlanta’s fast-changing northern suburbs offers a glimpse into a challenge facing Democrats — and a potential bright spot for Republicans — in the Jan. 5 Senate runoffs. In November, Democrat Joe Biden carried by 5 percentage points what was once known as Milton County, now the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Roswell and Milton in north Fulton. But down-ticket was a blur. In one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate races, voters narrowly backed Republican incumbent David Perdue over Democrat Jon Ossoff. In the other Senate contest, GOP candi...

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Sorry, Trump: Georgia's GOP governor won't call a special session to illegally overturn the election

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp has already defied President Donald Trump’s calls to illegally overturn Georgia’s election results. Now he and other Republican leaders are shooting down an effort by pro-Trump legislators to demand a special session to brazenly award Georgia’s 16 electoral votes to the GOP. The governor and other Republican leaders first ruled out a special session to help Trump undo Joe Biden’s victory on Nov. 10, and he rejected the president’s extraordinary personal plea to intervene in the election results on Saturday. But Kemp elaborated on his stance late Sunday after four Repu...

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Georgia election official: Trump is complicit in potential violence

ATLANTA — A top Georgia election official Tuesday said President Donald Trump and the state’s two U.S. senators are complicit in threats against election workers and urged them to speak out against the behavior of some of the president’s most irate supporters.Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager, cited threats against a voting systems company technician in Gwinnett County, as well as threats against himself and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He also cited comments by a lawyer for Trump’s reelection campaign who suggested a cybersecurity official be “shot” for disputing the...

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Trump's runoff rally forces question: How much will he help Loeffler and Perdue?

ATLANTA — President Donald Trump’s decision to visit Georgia next week was celebrated as a “Thanksgiving miracle” by the Republican U.S. Senate runoff candidates. But his trip will test how they balance his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud with their all-out efforts to drive up turnout.Even as U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue push supporters to return to the polls, Trump has continued to falsely insist that the elections are “rigged,” stoking worries from Republicans that the conflicting messages will discourage voter participation. A new federal lawsuit filed by Trum...

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CDC: US COVID-19 death toll could reach 321,000 by mid-December

ATLANTA — A new report issued this week by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the coronavirus death toll could reach up to 321,000 by the middle of December.According to the CDC’s “COVID-19 Forecasts: Deaths,” models are predicting the number of coronavirus deaths will likely increase over the next four weeks, with between 10,600 and 21,400 new fatalities likely to be reported in the week ending Dec. 19, 2020.The model predicts between 294,000 and 321,000 total coronavirus deaths will have been reported by that time.As of Friday afternoon, Johns Hopkins Universit...

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Jewish leaders defend Raphael Warnock after Kelly Loeffler attacks

ATLANTA — In the hours after a gunman in Pittsburgh opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018, the phone rang in Atlanta for Rabbi Peter Berg, the leader of The Temple, Atlanta’s oldest Jewish congregation.It was the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church.“Raphael was the first to call,” Berg said. “(He said that) during this horrific moment of anti-Semitism in our country, he and the Ebenezer family are with us.”The pastor offering Berg comfort in 2018 is now running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler in an increasingly ugly figh...

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Atlanta mayor: Biden pledged to help US mayors deal with COVID-19, other issues

ATLANTA — After a virtual meeting on Monday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have pledged more support to the nation’s cities as they grapple with the damage caused by the coronavirus.That support would come after the new president took office, no matter the party affiliation of the mayor, Bottoms said during a Monday evening interview with CNN.“(It) was a really what we needed to hear,” she said about the meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the incoming president and vice president. “It was a very thoughtfu...

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Trump formally requests recount in Georgia

ATLANTA — Donald Trump says he has formally requested a recount in the presidential race in Georgia.The president’s campaign released a statement Saturday night saying it had filed a petition for the recount, which he is entitled to do under Georgia law because of Joe Biden’s margin of victory is less than .5%.“Today, the Trump campaign filed a petition for recount in Georgia,” the campaign said in the statement. “We are focused on ensuring that every aspect of Georgia state law and the U.S. Constitution are followed so that every legal vote is counted.”The move comes a day after Georgia Secre...

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Killings of young victims, many unsolved, form chilling pattern in Atlanta metro area

ATLANTA — A child is cut down in a drive-by shooting. A teenager on his bicycle is hit by a car and killed, but the driver leaves the scene. An 8-year-old girl in a car with her family is shot dead when armed protesters open fire on their vehicle.These are just a few stories from recent months across metro Atlanta that illustrate an unnerving pattern: fatal incidents involving young victims with no one to hold accountable.In the past week, two young victims have died in hit-and-run collisions.On Saturday morning, Decatur 16-year-old John William Poe was killed in a hit-and-run as he rode his b...

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Why Gov. Kemp formalized Georgia's election despite Trump's pushback

ATLANTA — When Gov. Brian Kemp certified the state’s 16 presidential electors, he not only brought Georgia one step closer to ending a tumultuous vote-counting process but he also defied calls from President Donald Trump and his allies to delay the decision.The governor announced his move by also venting frustration at an “unacceptable” tallying process that found thousands of ballots in four counties that had previously gone uncounted. He also urged lawmakers to consider requiring voter ID for mail-in ballots, which has surged during the pandemic.Kemp, a former secretary of state, expanded on...

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A Georgia GOP clash over Trump's defeat deepens with attacks on the vote

ATLANTA — Georgia’s top elections official forcefully debunked conspiracy theories furthered by President Donald Trump, delivering his sharpest rebuke yet to fellow Republicans leveling unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud.Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger issued a string of Facebook posts over the weekend that picked apart the narrative of systemic irregularities with the November ballot, and followed up Monday in an interview urging Georgians to trust the integrity of the state’s manual recount even if they don’t like the outcome.“Results so far have been lining up very, very close...

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'We are the firewall': Senate Republicans prepare to make a stand in Georgia

ATLANTA — Georgia Republicans still aren’t acknowledging President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. But they are raising the specter of his incoming administration’s agenda to rally conservatives ahead of the high-stakes Jan. 5 runoffs.At a joint event Friday, U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue promoted the same message about the battle for control of the Senate: A defeat to Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia would hand the nation’s keys over to Biden and the Democrats.“Make no mistake. We are the firewall, not just for the U.S. Senate, but for the future of our country,” said Loeffle...

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Georgia starts hand recount of presidential race

ATLANTA — Georgia’s manual recount began Friday morning as election workers reviewed the first of nearly 5 million ballots to confirm the outcome of the presidential race. The recount to determine a new, official count started at 9 a.m. and will last until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday. Joe Biden led Donald Trump by 14,000 votes as of Friday afternoon. Several news outlets on Friday declared Biden the state’s winner, making him the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since 1992.NBC News, ABC News, CNN and the New York Times made the call for Biden in Georgia on Friday afternoon. NBC ...

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A race for the base is fast underway in Georgia Senate runoffs

ATLANTA — The race for Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs is starting exactly how the presidential contest ended, with an intense and relentless push to motivate each party’s core supporters rather than preach to the undecided.U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue aim to rally conservatives and appease President Donald Trump by taking the stunning step of calling for a fellow Republican elections official to resign and echoing claims without any evidence that fraud marred the vote.Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have leaned into the nationalization of the race by amplifying President-...

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How Georgia became an election battleground in 2020 — and 2021

ATLANTA — Stacey Abrams has a favorite line about the state she’s worked to flip for the last decade: Georgia, she tells crowds, is a “blue state — we’re just a little confused.” This election has only deepened that identity crisis.No state is home to a tighter presidential contest than Georgia, where a tiny fraction of the vote divided President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden after an intense late push that brought both candidates to the state in the final week of the campaign.No longer can Republicans scoff at Georgia’s newly-minted battleground status, not after Democrats flippe...

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