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The high turnout of black voters raised candidates for the Democratic Senate in Georgia.

A surge in turnout for black voters in Georgia fueled the fortunes of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, putting Democrats on hand to overthrow two Senate seats and take control of the chamber.

The predominantly black counties of rural Georgia had a turnout for Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff that nearly matched the Nov. 3 general election and margins that topped what President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. received when he defeated President Trump in the state.

In Calhoun County, which is 61% black and where most of the ballots were counted Tuesday night, Mr. Warnock was 19 percentage points ahead of 2,031 votes cast and Mr. Ossoff had an advantage of 18 points, compared to 15 for Mr. Biden. margin percentage out of 2,198 votes in November.

In Clay, Macon, Randolph and Washington counties, tiny predominantly black rural counties, Mr. Ossoff and Mr. Warnock got bigger margins than Mr. Biden with turnout that nearly hit the numbers. November – an extraordinary achievement considering the nature of the runoff.

Some of Georgia’s largest counties in metropolitan Atlanta, home to the state’s largest concentration of black voters, have yet to declare a majority of their votes, although they are expected to do so soon.

Data from TargetSmart, a Democratic political data company, revealed that nearly 50,000 black Georgians voted early in the Senate second round after failing to vote in the November 3 general election.

Dozens of grassroots organizations worked to win over black voters ahead of the second round, and in a campaign swing last weekend, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris targeted black neighborhoods where the turnout was early voting had been low.

“The vote black made the US Senate for Democrats,” said Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart.

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How Trump’s fraud allegations could hurt Georgia’s Republican candidates

Tuesday’s election in Georgia will not only determine the fate of the two Senate seats held by Republicans and the balance of control on Capitol Hill. It will also reveal to what extent President Trump has disrupted and damaged his own party.

Over the past few weeks, Mr. Trump has sparked and escalated a battle royale within Georgia’s Republican Universe as he sought to reverse his loss there and blame the state’s GOP leaders for failing to not have helped him.

In response, Republicans across the state have turned on each other, siding for or against Mr. Trump as he continues his stubborn efforts – some say illegal – to overturn election results in Georgia, where he lost by nearly 12,000 votes.

The outcome of these Senate elections will show, on some level, how Republican voters reacted to Mr. Trump’s quest to overthrow what he falsely called a “rigged” election.

If Republicans do not ultimately turn out in large numbers, the blame will at least partly fall on Mr. Trump for his efforts to raise doubts about the fairness of the state’s electoral process.

The extent to which Mr. Trump is ready to engage in this effort became fully evident on Saturday, when he phoned Brad Raffensperger, Georgian and Republican Secretary of State, urging him to “find” votes and recalculate the results of the state presidential race. in his favor, ignoring the official conclusion, already certified by the governor, that he was the loser.

It was the culmination of efforts to overthrow the elections which began almost two months ago. The Trump campaign and his surrogates have filed multiple lawsuits challenging the election results in Georgia; demanded recounts and the resignation of Mr. Raffensperger; combed the obituaries to find the supposed “dead” who voted; demanded that the legislature overturn the state electoral college vote; and lobbied for hearings, where Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, repeated unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.

At every turn, Mr. Raffensperger and other Georgia election officials debunked the electoral fraud conspiracy theories pushed by the president and his allies.

The short-term impact of Mr. Trump’s lobbying campaign will become evident as the votes are counted in the run-off election between David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, with the two Republicans fighting to retain their Senate seats , against two Democrats, Jon Ossoff and the Reverend. Raphael Warnock.

For Republicans in the state, the concern from the start has been that Mr. Trump’s efforts to undermine the electoral process will reduce turnout in the second round, in part because it has fueled the belief that the system itself. same is rigged and can not be trusted.

Charles S. Bullock III, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said Mr. Trump’s phone call on Saturday could also turn some of the president’s former supporters against Republican candidates.

“They can say, ‘This has gone too far. I can’t vote against Trump, but I can vote against his surrogates, ”Bullock said in an interview Monday.

Mr. Trump’s efforts to plead, cajole and threaten his path to victory in Georgia began days after the November 3 election. He was leading as the first comebacks arrived. But as the postal votes were counted in the days that followed, his margin narrowed and it became evident that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. would take Georgia and its 16 electoral votes.

The Associated Press declared Mr. Biden the winner in Georgia on November 13.

On November 9, Ms Loeffler and Mr Perdue – who touted their loyalty to the president – took the unusual step of demanding Mr Raffensperger’s resignation, calling the election an embarrassment and baseless claiming that his office had supervised a faulty process.

A civil engineer and former state legislator, Mr. Raffensperger was elected in 2018 after receiving the laudatory endorsement of Mr. Trump. Seeming keen to allay the president’s concerns, Raffensperger agreed to conduct an unusual statewide recount of the election, which cost counties hundreds of thousands of dollars. He reaffirmed Mr. Biden’s victory. Just like a subsequent recount of the machine.

As Mr. Trump’s campaign and his supporters have filed lawsuits in various Georgia jurisdictions, Mr. Trump has stepped up attacks on another staunch Republican, Gov. Brian Kemp.

In early December, Mr. Kemp, along with Geoff Duncan, Georgia’s lieutenant governor who is also a Republican, issued a joint statement rejecting requests by supporters of Mr. Trump to call a special session of the Georgian legislature to overturn the victory of Mr. Biden. .

“Doing this in order to select a separate list of presidential voters is not an option that is permitted under state or federal law,” the statement said.

The Georgian legislature was not due to meet again until January 11, long after the electoral college certified Mr Biden’s victory in Georgia. Senior state officials including David Ralston, the Republican Speaker of the House, stood firm on that date, drawing a bright line beyond which they would not go appeasing Mr. Trump.

“I would remind people that if we canceled this one there might be a day for us,” Ralston told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We just have to be very careful about how we react to our frustrations and concerns and understand that these things can happen again someday.”

A recount, even if it was expensive, was one thing. Canceling a valid election was another. Expressing his displeasure, Mr Trump said he was ashamed to endorse Mr Kemp in 2018.

Longtime Republican Mr Raffensperger hinted Monday that the feuds could end nearly two decades of Republican domination in statewide politics.

“The questions Mr. Trump raised – about all of his claims that he didn’t get a fair vote here – have been a major distraction for both senators to lead their race,” Raffensperger told Fox News. “In fact, he’s actually removing the Republican turnout.”

Bill Crane, a Georgian political agent and commentator, said the president’s tactics, as well as the work of activists in the state who claimed the November election was rigged, reduced Republican turnout in the run-off. “Georgia is still at odds over whether we should vote,” Crane said.

The fringe efforts of Trump’s allies may have helped dissuade some Republicans from voting for Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler. A Twitter campaign urging Georgian voters to ‘write down’ the names of Mr Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, which is not an option for the second ballot, appears to be the result of Mr Trump’s concerns . And L. Lin Wood, a Georgian conservative lawyer and Trump ally, said he would not vote in “another fraudulent election.”

Early voting data showed turnout in the second round of the election was depressed in heavily Republican areas of the state, although analysts say Republicans tend to favor voting on Election Day while Democrats are more likely to vote early.

Mr. Crane has called Mr. Trump’s crusade a “fantasy football league campaign” – a campaign in which Mr. Trump pursues his own agenda, not the party’s.

To what end is not exactly clear. But on Monday, in an appearance at a rally in Dalton, Georgia, on behalf of his staunch supporters, Ms Loeffler and Mr Perdue, Mr Trump vowed to make a return trip to campaign against Mr. Raffensperger and M. Kemp. .

“They say they are Republicans,” Mr. Trump said. “I really don’t think so. They can’t be.

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Now airing on Tennessee local news: announcements for candidates from Georgia

He estimated that Georgians made up around 10% of his viewers. His station has seen millions of dollars in political spending anyway.

“In a year where we have had a pandemic, this is certainly unexpected and welcome,” Mr. Ellis said.

The stations earn the most money thanks to super PACs. While applicants are protected from price gouging under federal law, outside groups are not – and some pay four times the price for the same airtime. In Atlanta, for example, applicants pay $ 6,000 for a 30-second ad during “Jeopardy!” and $ 5,000 for a seat on “Wheel of Fortune”; Super PACs are billed for $ 25,000 and $ 20,000 for the same time slots.

“It’s a lot of money,” Acuff said at the Chattanooga station.

Of the non-state media markets, the most effective for campaigns in Georgia is the Tallahassee, Florida market, where approximately 35% of viewers live in Georgia.

At the other end of the scale is the Dothan, Alabama market where only 5% of viewers are in Georgia.

Dothan’s TV stations may seem small enough to be overlooked by even the most ambitious Georgian politicians. The market reaches only one county in southwest Georgia, Early, which is not among Georgia’s top 100 counties in terms of population.

Just over 10,000 people live there, or about 0.1% of the state’s population.

But margins in Georgia were so excruciatingly squeezed in November – Mr Biden, the first Democrat to win the state since 1992, won by less than 12,000 votes – that campaigns are advertising Dothan even though 95% of the market lives outside of Georgia. .

“This election is going to be extremely close,” said Miryam Lipper, a spokeswoman for Mr. Ossoff, who said reaching all voters “is a top priority for us.”

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Now airing on Tennessee local news: announcements for candidates from Georgia

He estimated that Georgians made up around 10% of his viewers. His station has seen millions of dollars in political spending anyway.

“In a year where we have had a pandemic, this is certainly unexpected and welcome,” Mr. Ellis said.

The stations earn the most money thanks to super PACs. While applicants are protected from price gouging under federal law, outside groups are not – and some pay four times the price for the same airtime. In Atlanta, for example, applicants pay $ 6,000 for a 30-second ad during “Jeopardy!” and $ 5,000 for a seat on “Wheel of Fortune”; Super PACs are billed for $ 25,000 and $ 20,000 for the same time slots.

“It’s a lot of money,” Acuff said at the Chattanooga station.

Of the non-state media markets, the most effective for campaigns in Georgia is the Tallahassee, Florida market, where approximately 35% of viewers live in Georgia.

At the other end of the scale is the Dothan, Alabama market where only 5% of viewers are in Georgia.

Dothan’s TV stations may seem small enough to be overlooked by even the most ambitious Georgian politicians. The market reaches only one county in southwest Georgia, Early, which is not among Georgia’s top 100 counties in terms of population.

Just over 10,000 people live there, or about 0.1% of the state’s population.

But margins in Georgia were so excruciatingly squeezed in November – Mr Biden, the first Democrat to win the state since 1992, won by less than 12,000 votes – that campaigns are advertising Dothan even though 95% of the market lives outside of Georgia. .

“This election is going to be extremely close,” said Miryam Lipper, a spokeswoman for Mr. Ossoff, who said reaching all voters “is a top priority for us.”

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Senate candidates fight in Georgia as GOP voters’ anger persists

MILTON, Georgia – Five Republicans spoke at a rally on Monday in suburban Atlanta, including two state lawmakers, Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, and Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior advisor .

No one recognized the defeat of President Trump, nor the reality of the victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his new Democratic administration.

Instead, as Mr. Trump continues to denounce the election results and spread unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud, Republicans in the second round of the Senate in Georgia have deployed an avoidance strategy. As hundreds of attendees chanted “Stop the Steal” and “Fight for Trump,” a reference to their shared belief that the election was badly decided, speakers sought to redirect energy to Senate contests on the 5th. January and the battle for control of the chamber.

Democrats must oust Ms Loeffler and Mr Perdue to give their party power over both houses of Congress, in addition to the White House. On Monday, as Republicans rallied their supporters, Democratic candidates Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff hosted Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for a side event.

The two parties agree on the importance of the flows. “Everything that was at stake in November is at stake on January 5,” Ms. Harris told the crowd in Columbus, a city in western Georgia.

In Milton, Ms. Trump presented the competitions as a crossroads of the country’s most fundamental values.

“Georgia will decide whether our children grow up under an oppressive government or whether America remains the land of the free,” she said.

Besides a shared sense of importance, the rallies had little in common. Both Mr Perdue and Ms Loeffler were heckled by members of the public, who called on them to more strongly support Mr Trump’s attempts to subvert the election. Some held signs calling for a special session of Congress to overturn the Electoral College vote, while others urged senators to vote against certification of election results.

In his remarks, Mr Perdue nodded at the anger among those in the crowd, whose voices had choked Ms Loeffler at one point.

“I always fight by his side to make sure he finally gets fair bookkeeping in this state,” Perdue said of the president. “But my job right now – Kelly’s job, on top of that – is to make sure that we don’t give up those two seats in Georgia.”

Ms Trump, who is often deployed as a Republican surrogate capable of appealing to suburban women, focused on her father’s economic toll before the coronavirus pandemic, the administration’s advocacy against child trafficking and its investment in a Covid-19 vaccine and prevention measures.

However, one of his biggest applause was about ballot safety, echoing the basis of the unsubstantiated claims his father made.

“Kelly and David are working very hard to make sure this election is safe and secure, and that every legal vote is counted,” Ms. Trump said, dwelling on the word “legal”.

Arguments over the election outcome contrasted sharply with the party mood of Georgia’s Democrats, who were partly taking a victory lap after winning the state at the presidential level for the first time since 1992.

“You did what no one thought they could do,” Ms. Harris said at the event in Columbus. “No good thank you comes without asking for a little more,” she added, urging locals to run for Democrats again.

The drive-in rally took place in the ruins of a former textile factory located along the Chattahoochee River which has been turned into an event space. It was a cool and chilly day, with around 100 vehicles parked in front of the scene, as Democrats continue to limit in-person campaigns during the pandemic. Still, dozens of people got out of their cars and pushed against barricades to get a glimpse of Ms. Harris; many sported the green and pink of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the historically black sorority of which Ms. Harris was a member.

State Representative Carolyn F. Hugley, a Democrat, wore an AKA sweater.

“She could motivate people like this young woman right here,” Ms. Hugley said, pointing to a young African-American woman standing near the barricade. “It’s not just about lifting the sorority. It’s about lifting African American women.

The run-off election for both parties is largely a question of turnout, as candidates and campaigns focus on motivating their bases rather than winning over new voters. In Georgia, where changing demographics and eroding Republican support among moderate college graduates in the suburbs have helped Democrats rise, it has largely led to familiar strategies: Republicans are seeking to increase support among rural white conservatives, while Democrats focus on urban centers.

On Monday, Ms. Trump hosted events in the outlying Atlanta area, which has been traditionally Republican and, without Mr. Trump on the ballot, could vote differently in the second round than in the general election. Ms Harris was in Columbus, one of the state’s largest urban areas, where Democrats improved their performance in November and are looking to capitalize again.

Both campaigns had more events planned for Monday, but Ms Harris and Republican senators had to return to Washington to vote on the coronavirus emergency relief program.

Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff have repeatedly attacked their Republican opponents as being financially corrupt. Citing senators’ stock transactions – including deals made during the pandemic – they tried to label Republicans “Bonnie and Clyde of political corruption,” as Mr. Ossoff once put it.

“Two US senators more concerned with using their desks to line their pockets than us the people who pay their salaries,” Ossoff said at the rally. “We deserve better, Columbus, and retirement is approaching for Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

Mr Warnock accused Ms Loeffler of name calling. “It’s serious business, and she’s busy calling me names,” he said. “I’m trying to have a debate, and she just curses. It’s OK. As they say in the South, ‘Bless his heart.’ “

Republican candidates rarely mentioned Mr. Ossoff at events, spurring their rhetoric on Mr. Warnock and the national Democratic agenda. Mr Warnock, who is said to be the state’s first black senator, has a chair closely linked to the civil rights movement as a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.

During her debate against Mr Warnock earlier this month, Ms Loeffler repeated the phrase “radical liberal Raphael Warnock” more than a dozen times. She used it again in Milton, as she tried to characterize her pastoral history as a sign of extremist foundations.

“The future of the country is at stake here,” Ms. Loeffler said. “We are the firewall.”

But many in the audience weren’t there for her, for the Republicans, or even for Ms. Trump. They were staunchly devoted to the president and his baseless allegations of electoral fraud, which threaten to fracture the party. At one point, Ms. Trump praised Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a frequent target of Mr. Trump, which caused some attendees to bristle.

Nancy Babbitt, who attended the rally, was upset that Ms Loeffler had so far refused to say whether she would vote to certify the results of the Senate election on January 6, the day after the second round. Ms Babbitt said she was not sure Ms Loeffler and Mr Perdue were going to win, because by failing to get Trump’s most loyal supporters “they are missing out on the MAGA vote.”

“What are they hiding?” Mrs. Babbitt asked.

Carol Grusin, who wore a sticker supporting Ms Loeffler and considers herself a moderate Republican, said she wanted the ‘Stop the Steal’ heckling to end.

Mr. Trump should concede, she said.

“He took his course,” Ms. Grusin said. “At this point, it’s embarrassing.”

Astead W. Herndon reported from Milton, and Rick rojas from Columbus, Ga.

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Meet the candidates for the Biden Energy and Climate Cabinet

A nuclear physicist who served as Mr. Obama’s second energy secretary remains in the running to return to his old post. Dr Moniz, now chairman and CEO of the Future of Energy Initiative, a research organization, served as informal advisor to Mr Biden during the campaign and several people who worked under his leadership at energy department said they would be happy to do so. so again.

But Dr. Moniz has detractors. Liberal groups have protested against some of the positions he has taken since leaving government, including a post on the board of directors of Southern Company, an electricity and gas utility company. They also opposed his endorsement of nuclear power and carbon capture and storage as a means of tackling climate change, as they believe climate policy should focus only on renewable sources like wind and solar.

Although his greatest legacy is to help secure the Iran nuclear deal, Dr Moniz has also played a key role behind the scenes of the Paris Agreement on climate change, striving to make l clean energy a central part of the agreement. As part of Mission Innovation, a side agreement to the Paris Agreement, 19 countries and the United States agreed to double research and development spending on carbon-free energy. President Trump effectively withdrew from the pact when he abandoned the Paris Agreement.

Also in the running:

Dr Majumdar, who currently heads Mr Biden’s transition team for the energy department, could become its secretary. Dr Majumdar moved to the United States from India to obtain a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and became the first director of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program, where he tried relations with Republicans and Democrats. Currently, Dr Majumdar heads the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University.

One of Rhodes’ first female scholars, Ms. Sherwood-Randall has extensive experience with nuclear weapons, most of the work of the Department of Energy, as well as the challenges to the country’s power grid. A former adviser to Mr. Biden while in the Senate, Ms. Sherwood-Randall served in the Clinton and Obama administrations, working on foreign policy and national security issues. From 2014 to 2017, she was Deputy Energy Secretary, Head of the National Nuclear Security Administration. She also led an initiative to address the challenges of the electricity grid.

Mr. Zaidi, New York State’s assistant secretary of energy and environment, is widely seen as the leader for the role of national climate change coordinator. The new post would require someone who could work with cabinet secretaries and other high profile figures like Mr Kerry. Mr. Zaidi was associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget under the leadership of Mr. Obama, where he helped design the White House Climate Action Plan, a reduction plan shows.

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Former deputy director emerges as one of the main candidates for the head of the CIA

WASHINGTON – David S. Cohen, a former deputy director of the CIA, is President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s first choice to head the spy agency, according to several people familiar with the process.

Mr. Biden has not made any final decisions and his selection depends in part on the mix of people he wants to lead the Pentagon and other agencies. No official announcement is expected until at least next week.

Still, key aides said Mr. Biden loved Mr. Cohen and that Avril D. Haines, Mr. Biden’s choice to become director of national intelligence, also supported the potential appointment. Mr Cohen, who succeeded Ms Haines as deputy head of the CIA, worked closely with her on the National Security Council’s ‘committee of deputies’ – made up of the No. 2 heads of security departments and agencies national – under the Obama administration.

At times, including early in the Obama administration, relations between the office of the director of national intelligence and the CIA have been strained. Ensuring an easy partnership between Ms Haines and the director of the CIA is a priority for the new administration, according to people who have spoken to transition officials, and the choice of Mr Cohen would potentially reduce friction to a minimum.

Ned Price, a spokesperson for Biden’s transition team, declined to comment.

At the CIA, Mr. Cohen helped set up the joint operation between the agency, the FBI, and the National Security Agency that investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Cohen is also a former senior treasury official who oversaw the ministry’s financial sanctions against Russia, Iran and terrorist organizations.

Now a partner at the law firm WilmerHale, Mr. Cohen seized a moment of glory after the Obama administration for an appearance on the HBO series “Game of Thrones”. depicting a scruffy resident of Winterfell.

Mr Cohen became the top candidate after Tom Donilon, a former national security adviser to President Barack Obama, withdrew from the exam and Michael G. Morrell, a former acting director of the agency considered one of the best candidates, was attacked by the senator. Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mr Wyden said he would not support Mr Morrell because of his defense of the CIA’s interrogation program during the Bush administration which included the torture of terrorism suspects.

Mr Biden is also deliberating on who he will appoint to head the justice and defense departments, choices that could shape his decision regarding the CIA as he tries to keep his promise to build a administration that reflects the racial diversity of the country.

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Georgia Senate candidates focus on their basics, not swing voters.

Candidates vying for Georgian Senate seats are campaigning for their political bases and not trying to win new voters, though the state votes for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in decades and turns out to be be a real electoral battleground.

Outgoing Republican State Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler – who is currently taking a hiatus from his campaign after receiving conflicting results on recent virus tests – are the favorites in both races. They reproduce most elements of President Trump’s message without him on the ballot, spending tens of millions of dollars on almost entirely negative advertising campaigns, which seek to portray their opponents as radicals fundamentally opposed to the country’s fundamentals. .

Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock seek to build on President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s message of pragmatic unity and his electoral formula: a multiracial coalition fueled by the urban and suburban areas of the ‘State.

Both parties have bet the house on turnout, not persuasion, in pleas that show how, even in purple states, moderate politicians – especially those on the right – are a dying breed.

If the two Democratic candidates win and get a 50-50 split in the Senate, the ties could be broken by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and many more political options would be on the table for Democrats. If Mr. Perdue or Ms. Loeffler prevails, Republicans could thwart the big moves of the Biden administration.

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Senate Republicans could be a barrier for candidates for Biden’s cabinet.

Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent progressive from Vermont, became a candidate for Secretary of Labor in the administration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., a prospect that would suit his ambitions to be a warrior for working people Americans – and that is making some Republican senators very concerned.

It’s a testament to the deterioration of the Senate confirmation process that a longtime colleague – even one they vehemently oppose politically – would face such a Republican roadblock. In the not too distant past, fellow senators had considerable leeway on the part of the opposing party if they were chosen to join the executive branch.

“The truth is, to my knowledge, there has been a courtesy in the Senate that when a president appoints senators, they have been approved,” Sanders said in an interview.

The growing Senate resistance to Mr Sanders even before any formal action by the new administration reflects the formidable task Mr Biden faces. If Republicans would retain their Senate majority next year, Mr. Biden would be the first president since George Bush in 1989 to take office without his party controlling the chamber and handling the confirmation process. And this process has become much more toxic, to the point where senators regularly engage in near-total opposition to the choices of a president of the opposite party – if they allow consideration at all.

Some Republicans, who must win at least one of two Senate polls in Georgia on Jan.5 to hold their slim majority, have already made it known that they do not want to give Mr Biden much leeway on the issues. nominees. They note the efforts Democrats have made over the past four years to block President Trump’s choices and to force Republicans to overcome any time-consuming procedural hurdles, even when the end result was inevitable.

“I can assure you that there won’t be one set of rules for Donald Trump and, if Joe Biden takes office, another set of rules for him,” Republican Senator Tom Cotton said this week. ‘Arkansas, on the Hugh radio show. Hewitt, a conservative host.

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Both candidates agree: Trump’s crowds are bigger and they agree with that

Mr Trump walks into his rallies to the beat of music and crowds screaming their approval – with few wearing masks – as he throws Make America Great Again hats into the stands like t-shirts at a basketball game. Aides says he’s feeding off the energy of his audience and the rallies have convinced Mr. Trump he will win despite polls showing him lagging behind in nearly every competitive state.

Keep up with Election 2020

“A great red wave is forming,” Trump said on Saturday in Newtown, Pennsylvania. “As sure as we are here together, this wave is forming. And they see it, they see it from all sides, and there is nothing they can do about it.

Jason Miller, senior advisor to Mr. Trump’s campaign, said the president “loves to campaign” and is always eager for “input from people outside the Beltway.”

But Mr. Trump is less enthusiastic when the input comes from smaller crowds. On Saturday morning, speaking to only about 300 people at his first Pennsylvania rally of the day, Mr. Trump was lethargic and subdued, as if he was thinking in private: yawn.

The previous night, the President walked off the stage in Rochester, Minnesota, after speaking for less than 30 minutes in front of a small crowd in a state where gatherings are limited to a maximum of 250 people. Mr Trump claimed there were “at least 25,000 people who wanted to be here tonight” and said his supporters were “banned from entry by radical Democrats”.

Sunday, Mr. Trump had also scheduled rallies in Dubuque, Iowa; Hickory, North Carolina; Rome, Georgia; and Opa-locka, Florida – last at 11 p.m.

Mr Biden held campaign events in Michigan on Saturday and Pennsylvania on Sunday, but with a twist: His supporters are attending his rallies in their cars to ensure social distancing amid the pandemic.