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Get It Together, GOP. The Georgia Senate Runoffs Are Not Going to Win Themselves

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

This moment with GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel pretty much encapsulates how well the two Georgia Senate runoffs are going amid allegations of voter irregularities and lawsuits regarding the November 3 election. During a stump speech for incumbent candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Marietta, voters told McDaniel the race was already lost:

Unfortunately, this is not the only place I am hearing a significant lack of confidence in Georgia’s election process. McDaniel is correct, Senator David Perdue is currently leading challenger Jon Ossoff by approximately 100,000 votes. It’s not that voters feel Perdue will lose, any more than some of them believe that President Trump actually lost. Rather, they think the results will be manipulated.

I live in a county that President Trump won with almost 70% of the vote. Republican voters in counties like mine, which are numerous, need to turn out on January 5 to overwhelm the metro Atlanta counties. Today I got my first door knocker. I half expected it to be from the Democrat candidate campaigns and was surprised it was not. Where I live, it is generally a foregone conclusion for Republican candidates to win. In local and state-level races, Republican incumbents are often unopposed.

The young lady who knocked on my door asked me timidly if I was going to vote in the Senate runoff and if I knew who the pro-life candidates were. I assured her I did and thanked her for her work. She had on a yellow rain slicker and winter gear because she was door-knocking in the sleet and coming snow. Georgia needs about 10,000 more like her if the GOP wants to win on January 5.

She asked me if I had been watching the news and if something bad had happened. I told her not particularly, just the continuing saga of the November 3 election. She just shook her head and said that at almost every door she had knocked on since 10 a.m. people were telling her that we’ve already lost. Given where I live, this is distressing.

I had just returned from a working lunch with several motivated women who are trying to influence the suburban Atlanta vote. It was a productive and exciting meeting with lots of energy. We have communication plans, outreach, and messaging in the works. This group is working outside the Republican Party structure because they have become disillusioned with the local GOP. This is a feeling I have heard echoed by very productive groups in my own county, who worked tirelessly to re-elect President Trump.

Some of these good patriots feel justified in their frustration with the GOP. What they actually want is pretty simple. They want the irregularities on election night explained clearly. Why did Fulton County stop tabulating votes and then start again in the middle of the night with no observers? This was not normal, and it was something that had never happened before.

Another thing many find confusing is something McDaniel said. David Perdue is leading Jon Ossoff by 100,000 votes. How did President Trump lose by 12,000? For many voters, the president drove them to the polls. They can’t fathom how that math works. Explain it clearly.

In addition, they want assurances about the election on January 5. Many Republicans and conservatives value Georgia’s election laws. They want to know how out-of-state interlopers will be excluded and how the process is going to be locked back down to be secure. Unfortunately, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the State Election Board seem to be making it even easier for those with bad intentions to manipulate the process by allowing drop boxes and early counting, which are not allowed according to state law.

Finally, can the GOP and the two candidates please work on messaging? For those of us who observe and comment on politics, the need to protect the Senate majority is obvious. However, for the average voter, this is not clear and the slogan sounds like a power play. How about you talk about the laws that will surely pass with a Democrat majority in the Senate and the impact on the average Georgian’s daily life? Here’s a short list:

  • The Equality Act – especially
  • The PRO Act
  • Repeal of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (or just the SALT cap)
  • Biden’s proposed taxes on gun owners
  • A radical leader of the teacher’s unions heading the Department of Education
  • Destruction of progress on school choice

The GOP has just over 30 days to fix a voter confidence problem and engage as many people as possible. Transparency and messaging that speak to voters are key. The RNC was one of the best visual and emotional productions I have ever seen from the Republican Party. More of that. Now.

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