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politico – Biden and Harris return to Georgia ahead of Senate second round

Warnock, the senior pastor of the historic Atlanta Ebenezer Baptist Church, is challenging Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler nominated in the race to complete the last two years of former Republican Senator Johnny Isakson’s term. Warnock and Loeffler were the first two to win the vote in the 21-person all-party special election for Loeffler’s seat in November.

The pair of top-tier second-round races will have huge ramifications for Biden’s new administration. If Ossoff and Warnock win, control of the Senate will be split 50 to 50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Harris voting tied on legislation critical to the president-elect’s agenda.

Biden and Harris have each visited the state once since the November 3 general election: Biden campaigned in Atlanta on December 15 and Harris was in Columbus, Georgia – on the state’s western border with Alabama – December 21 for Ossoff and Warnock.

News of Biden and Harris’ upcoming state visits comes after President Donald Trump announced on Twitter earlier this month, he would host a “big rally” in Dalton, Ga on behalf of Perdue and Loeffler on January 4.

So far, more than 2.3 million people have voted in the two races by mail or advance voting in person, already surpassing the record for most votes cast in a second round in Georgia.

Early voting numbers show positive signs for Ossoff and Warnock, with black voters making up a higher percentage of the electorate compared to the November election and a higher early turnout in Democratic Congressional Districts. So far, early voter turnout has failed in Republican congressional districts.

Trump’s continued attacks on Republican state officials, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who have denied the president’s baseless allegations of widespread electoral fraud after Biden’s triumph in Georgia on last month, further complicate Loeffler and Perdue’s path to victory.

Trump caused more headaches for Republicans in the Senate last week when he asked Congress to increase the amount of direct payments to individual Americans from $ 600 to $ 2,000 in the latest coronavirus relief program, which ‘he nevertheless ended up signing over the weekend.

Loeffler and Perdue were quick to line up behind Trump’s demand for $ 2,000 stimulus checks, with Perdue saying on Wednesday he was “in full support” of the new number and calling it “the right thing to do. make”.

Perdue also denied that the president’s criticisms of Kemp and Raffensperger made his run for re-election more difficult. Trump is simply “exercising his right” by questioning the legitimacy of the November election, Perdue said, and while “we know there are questions” about this contest, “we are telling people, if you get upset by november, go out and vote. “

In addition to Trump’s trip to Georgia next week, Perdue introduced another potential visit from Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday, and said the First Family members would also be hitting the campaign trail ahead of Tuesday’s election. “It’s all over the bridge here,” he told Fox News.

Ossoff, meanwhile, accused Perdue on Wednesday of having “reversed his position” on stimulus checks “at the very last minute”.

“He doesn’t mean any of that,” Ossoff told MSNBC. “He’s just another dime politician who will say whatever he has to say when an election comes up to try to win reelection.”

If Perdue were serious about his support for direct payments, Ossoff added, “He would be on the floor of the US Senate to demand that [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell introduced the House bill – a clean check authorization for $ 2,000 – for an up or down vote. “

The House overwhelmingly voted on Monday to approve $ 2,000 stimulus checks. But while McConnell also introduced a bill that would increase payments, his legislation includes controversial measures pushed by the president that would repeal legal protections for social media companies and establish a voter fraud commission.

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