Trump and Biden to stay away from high-stakes Senate runoff in Georgia

Trump Rally
Former President Donald Trump listens as Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks during his Save America rally in Perry, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben Gray) Ben Gray/AP

Trump and Biden to stay away from high-stakes Senate runoff in Georgia

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Thanks, but no thanks.

That’s the message Georgia Republicans have sent former President Donald Trump, asking him to stay away from the state’s crucial Senate runoff race between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP challenger Herschel Walker.

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Despite having hand-picked Walker for the job, Republicans have come to the conclusion that having Trump stump for the football legend in a state where he continues to question the legitimacy of the election carries more risk than rewards, multiple media outlets have reported.

Instead of holding a preelection rally, it’s more likely he’ll support Walker behind the scenes and through fundraising efforts.

The decision to keep Trump away was a calculated one. Even though his visits energize his “Make America Great Again” base, they motivate centrists and progressives to show up to the polls and vote Democratic. In a race in which voter turnout is key, the safest bet for Republicans is keeping Trump on the other side of the state line, one Georgia political analyst told the Washington Examiner.

Trump lost Georgia in the 2020 election, making him the first GOP presidential candidate to lose the Peach State in nearly three decades. Trump tried to rally Republicans against Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, two state officials who refused to meddle in the 2020 results despite pressure from Trump and his allies. Trump vowed to primary Kemp and Raffensperger as revenge, but both candidates won their primary races and the general election.

On Monday, Walker released an ad featuring Kemp, betting the state’s most influential Republican would give him an edge in the runoff.

Neither Warnock nor Walker had enough votes in the general election to secure an outright win. Under Georgia law, they were forced into a Dec. 6 runoff.

Former President Barack Obama will headline a rally for Warnock in Atlanta on Thursday in an attempt to get younger voters to the polls.

President Joe Biden, like Trump, will not travel to the Southern state in support of his candidate.

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Walker has hammered Warnock on his ties to Biden and his policies, repeatedly claiming a vote for Warnock is a vote for Biden.

A win for Warnock would give Democrats, who hold a razor-thin majority in the Senate, a little padding. A win for Walker would make it difficult for Biden to get his agenda items passed.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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