‘Just Go Out And Vote:’ Final Frenzy Of Campaigning Hits Georgia
Days out from the election, the presidential campaigns made their closing pitch to Georgians in person, at a tenor befitting a battleground state.
President Donald Trump held a rally in Rome, Georgia, Sunday night — his fourth visit to the state since the summer.
“They said, ‘Sir, you don’t have to come to Georgia. We have it made. It’s won,’” Trump told the crowd of thousands, mostly unmasked. “Oh by the way just go out and vote. Just go out and vote.”
Hours earlier Sen. Kamala Harris held a masked, drive-in rally in Gwinnett County in front of several hundred cars, her second trip to the state in 10 days. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Monday afternoon as well.
“I am back in Georgia to thank you for all you’ve been doing these years, and these months and these weeks and these days,” she said. “Look at the kind of turnout we’ve already seen in terms of early voting. And I just wanted to come back to remind us that we still have a ways to go.”
Nearly 4 million Georgians already cast their ballots as of Saturday, almost as many as voted in the entire 2016 election.
Harris was preceded by former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on the stage, who recalled the journey Georgia Democrats have had to this year, when the state is seen nationally as a battleground.
Polling shows the presidential race and both Senate races in Georgia as competitive.
“We’re living in a battleground state. And we are in the heart of the battleground in Gwinnett County,” Abrams said. “We know that a few years ago when we said that Georgia was on the move, it was hard to get people to believe us. We knew what we could see.”
At the Republican rally, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan spoke about this Democratic energy too.
“I’m going to encourage everybody here in Georgia to shock the world. Let’s shock the world and send this blue wave back to the beach where it belongs,” he said. Duncan filled in for Gov. Brian Kemp, who has been in quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19.
“I’ve never seen the contrast greater than it is today,” said former Governor and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to the crowd. “This is not a little fork in the road between Republicans and Democrats. This is not just an easing off to the right or easing off to the left. This is a dead-end. If you take a left toward socialism, we will never get this country back.”
Perdue introduced his cousin, Sen. David Perdue at the rally, who is in a tight race for his seat and urged turnout.
“Make sure you don’t leave any vote out there unturned. This is what we’ve got to do, guys. We cannot let America go down this socialist road because as Sonny said, once you go down, you cannot come back.”
If neither Perdue nor his Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff win more than 50% of the vote, they will head to a January runoff. Polling right now shows that to be a distinct possibility.
Trump mentioned the chance to the crowd: “Will you please make sure [David] gets it without a runoff?”
Perdue spoke hours after he was scheduled to participate in a third debate, which he backed out of because of the president’s rally. Ossoff, at Harris’s event earlier, said Perdue is “on the run.”
“I’m asking you to get everybody in your life out to the polls,” Ossoff said. “Every young person you know who may be on the fence. Everybody who may not have made a plan yet to vote. It’s gonna be close.”