President Donald Trump's attack on Georgia's election system may cost Republicans their Senate majority.
Both of the state's senators face voters in a Jan. 5 runoff, but some Republican voters may heed the calls of right-wing conspiracy theorists to boycott the election to protest alleged fraud that purportedly cost Trump re-election, reported Politico.
"Whenever you have a close election, any distraction can be decisive, and by all accounts, the runoffs in Georgia are going to be close, just like they were in November," said Alex Conant, a GOP political strategist. "I think Republicans need to focus the runoffs squarely on stopping Joe Biden's agenda. If it's about Trump and conspiracy theories, that only divides our party and emboldens Democrats."
The most fervent Trump supporters believe Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are insufficiently supportive of the president, and hardcore MAGA devotees have linked the pair to various voter fraud conspiracy theories.
Some of the lawyers who are working to overturn Trump's election loss, including Qanon favorite Sidney Powell and attorney Lin Wood, are helping to stir anger against Georgia's GOP senators, and some of the president's surrogates are trying to reverse the dynamic.
"I'm seeing a lot of talk from people that are supposed to be on our side telling GOP voters not to go out & vote for @KLoeffler and @Perduesenate," tweeted Donald Trump Jr. "That is NONSENSE. IGNORE those people."
The stakes are high for Republicans, who can't afford to lose both seats.
"That's like cutting off your nose to spite your face," said Debbie Dooley, a founder of the Tea Party movement in Atlanta and a Trump backer. "The Republicans have to win one of those seats … If Democrats win both of those seats, if you boycott the runoff or you write in names, you are giving Democrats control of the Senate and they will have total control of the government."