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Trump supporters call for boycott of Georgia senate races that Republicans are desperate to win

Tom Embury-Dennis
·3-min read
<p>Republican senator Kelly Loeffler is fighting a tough run-off in Georgia</p> (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Republican senator Kelly Loeffler is fighting a tough run-off in Georgia

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Republicans are increasingly concerned by calls from some Trump supporters for conservative voters to boycott Georgia’s senate races next month.

Following his election defeat to Joe Biden, Donald Trump has repeatedly accused election officials of presiding over systemic fraud in Georgia, a state he won in 2016 but narrowly lost this year.

These baseless claims have triggered a number of the president’s most ardent supporters to suggest writing in Mr Trump rather than the two incumbent Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The senators were both forced into runoff elections after failing to get more than 50 per cent of the vote, a requirement in Georgia.

Earlier this week, the hashtag #WriteInTrumpForGA was one of Twitter’s top trending topics, with some supporters incorrectly claiming that writing in Mr Trump could help change the results of the presidential election in the incumbent’s favor.

Some of Mr Trump’s more hardcore supporters appear to believe that the two Georgia senators have not done enough to support the president’s fraud claims. Some have even baselessly suggested that Sen. Loeffler was complicit in electoral fraud herself.

Sidney Powell, a lawyer who has been distanced from the Trump campaign, has alleged without providing evidence that Sen. Loeffler had conspired with a voting technology company to suppress votes for Republican challenger Doug Collins.

A prominent Georgia lawyer, Lin Wood, last week called on Sen. Loeffler and Sen. Perdue to get “out of their basements” to support the president’s demands for “action” to address his loss in Georgia.

“Threaten to withhold your votes & money. Demand that they represent you,” Mr Lin tweeted.

According to Politico, hardcore followers of Mr Trump have used hashtags including #CrookedPerdue and #CrookedKelly on both Twitter and Parler - the relatively new social media platform that has become a favorite for conservatives.

On Monday, Donald Trump Jr, the president’s eldest son and a popular figure in the GOP, called on Republican voters to ignore calls for a Georgia boycott.

“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. That is NONSENSE. IGNORE those people,” he tweeted.

Fox News host and Trump ally, Tucker Carlson, on Tuesday also urged Republicans to vote in the state.

“They have every reason to be mad at the party in Washington, they should be punished,” Mr Carlson said, before adding: “The problem is, the rest of us should not be punished. So before you decide to sit this one out, you should think about what this might mean."

Mr Trump on Thursday pledged to campaign for Ms Loeffler and Mr Perdue, easing fears among Republicans the president would refuse to do so after failing to win re-election.

Then on Friday the president tweeted: “We must get out and help David and Kelly, two GREAT people. Otherwise we are playing right into the hands of some very sick people. I will be in Georgia on Saturday!”

Ms Loeffler’s campaign has been contacted for comment. Mr Perdue could not be reached for comment.

The Georgia run-off has become the focus of the Republican Party in recent weeks, as a failure to take any of the state’s two seats would mean the Senate is controlled by Democrats, who already control the House and will next year have a Democratic president in the White House.

Such an outcome would make it much more difficult for Republicans to block President-elect Biden’s legislative agenda.

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