Speaking to thousands of people at an airport in Dalton, Ga., the night before Georgia’s high stakes Senate runoffs, President Donald Trump kept the conversation largely focused on the election he lost in November. “There’s no way we lost the election,” he said right off the bat.
President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia narrowly in November.
While he spent much of the speech listing debunked conspiracy theories about the election system’s integrity, the president did urge Republicans to turn out for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue on Tuesday.
“The only way to combat the Democrat fraud is to flood your polling places with a historic tidal wave of Republican voters tomorrow,” he said.
“The Democrats are trying to steal the White House. You can’t let them. You just can’t let them steal the U.S. Senate,” Trump said. “Everything we’ve achieved together is on the line tomorrow.”
Trump sang the praises of Loeffler and Perdue, who have closely aligned themselves to him in the Senate and most especially on the campaign trail. Yet he vowed to return to Georgia to campaign against Gov. Brian Kemp, who appointed Loeffler, and whom Perdue lobbied Trump to endorse in 2018. Kemp has refused to violate the state constitution and intervene in the election.
Many Trump supporters at the rally said they still do not believe the results of the November election and are skeptical that voting in the runoff is any more secure. Yet those registered in Georgia said they still planned to vote.
There has been a particular focus on the increase in absentee voting during this election cycle, and absentee ballots have been the subject of many voter fraud allegations.
Robin Santana, a Georgia voter who attended the rally, wanted to wait to vote in person because she does not trust the absentee system.
“I’m going to vote tomorrow,” she said. “I wanted to wait until I thought it was safe to vote, and it was going to count properly.”
Trump supporters said they hope that for the runoff, there will be too much attention on the state of Georgia for the widespread fraud they say took place during the general election to occur again, something the president also alluded to.
“The good thing about tomorrow, it’s one state. So you have a lot of eyeballs watching,” Trump said.
Speaking ahead of his father, Donald Trump Jr. criticized Republicans who have discouraged voting in the runoff, comparing them to children who want to “take their ball and go home” after a loss.
Voters in Georgia who have not cast their ballots during early voting have until 7 p.m. Tuesday to vote in a runoff election that has already seen record turnout. More than three million Georgians cast their ballot early.
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