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Trump campaigns in Georgia with his own lost race in mind

“The best thing they can do, those who have backed Trump, is support his legacy by bringing back the Senate with a Republican majority,” said Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, expressing the message that the GOP lawmakers are hoping Mr. Trump delivers. .

Yet Mr Trump refuses to even admit that he has lost and every day sows mistrust in Georgia’s electoral system as he takes to Twitter to falsely shout that the election was “rigged.” He has repeatedly criticized the vote-counting machines used by the state and falsely claimed that the mail-in ballots are full of fraud, giving Republicans reason to question mail-in and ballot voting. no one.

“The best argument of the senators is that Georgia must elect them to defeat President Biden,” said Whit Ayres, a veteran Republican pollster. “The problem is, President Trump won’t let them get this message out. And that puts the candidates for the Senate in a real impasse.

If Mr. Trump departs from his teleprompter on Saturday and on subsequent trips here to challenge his loss of 12,000 votes and lash out at Mr. Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, it could overwhelm his scripted message and undermine the purpose of his visit by convincing his supporters that their votes might not count in January.

To complicate the challenge for Republicans, and to the delight of Democrats, the President was joined in his promotion of conspiracy theories by a pair of far-right lawyers, Sidney Powell and L. Lin Wood. But Ms Powell, who until recently was on Mr Trump’s legal team, and Mr Wood went even further, arguing that Georgia Republicans should punish the party by boycotting the Jan.5 runoff.

If even a modest number of Republicans do not participate in the election, especially in rural areas where Mr. Trump’s support is strongest, that could be enough to change electoral calculations in this evenly divided state and tip the two. races to Democrats.

Democrats hope Mr. Trump’s appearance will serve as a motivation for their base. Just as Republicans depend on the president to energize their constituents, Democrats believe that making the second round a referendum on the president will rally both liberals and moderates.