What was a comfortable lead for the re-election of Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia just a few weeks ago has now narrowed to a real nail-biter, according to sources close to GUV PAC, a Super Pac supporting the pair.
GUV PAC is also loosely aligned with Gov. Brian Kemp and is run by some of his top strategists.
The GUV PAC source tells Newsmax that “It is not looking particularly good for Loeffler and Perdue.”
The problem is what has been so far a low turnout for Republican voters. It’s all coming down to who can do a better job of getting the vote out Tuesday.
The source shared some internal numbers with Newsmax that revealed that Republicans early voted in the Senate runoffs in the same percentage they voted as of the close of early voting in person for the general election — 35.2%
Democratic voters upped their participation in early in-person voting on the runoffs by 6% — up to 42.5%, while independent early voter participation dropped by that same percentage from general election early voting.
The GOP’s interest levels is reflected in recent polls.
Robert Cahaly, a pollster at the Republican-leaning Trafalgar Group, released polling data just before New Year showing both Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock leading in tight races.
Trafalgar had Ossoff at 50.4%, with Perdue at 47.7%. Loeffler trailed Warnock, 48.8% to 49.6%.
The Republican source says it’s anyone’s guess as to why.
“There are a lot of competing theories about why Republican turn out is down. Could be the holidays and that Republicans simply preferred to spend time with family during the [early voting] period,” he tells Newsmax.
“Could also be lack of trust in the voting process amongst Republicans given the focus on election fraud in November.”
Another possible factor is pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood, who has been fighting election results in the courts.
He’s been telling Republican voters since as far back as late November that they should stay home for the Senate runoffs. But almost all conservative leaders believe that Wood’s advice is both nonsense and dangerous.
If Georgia GOPers stay at home, Republicans would cede both Congress and the White House to the Democrats.
Accordingly, it all comes down to Election Day on January 5th.
“Trump’s visit to Georgia tomorrow is extremely important,” the GUV PAC source says, adding that the president’s choice of venue is also important to drive up participation.
“In fact, Georgia’s 14th district, where the rally is located, is one of the most conservative congressional districts in the state, but it also has the lowest turnout in the runoff so far.”
The Republican National Committee announced that it will host its “Victory Rally” at the Dalton Regional Airport at 7 p.m. Eastern. The president sounded eager to get back on the campaign trail.
“On behalf of two GREAT Senators, @sendavidperdue & @KLoeffler, I will be going to Georgia on Monday night, January 4th., to have a big and wonderful RALLY,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “So important for our Country that they win!”
Both Loeffler and Perdue were initially scheduled to appear and speak at the event.
However, Perdue self-quarantined after he came into close contact with someone who’d tested positive for COVID-19.
This came at a critical time for Perdue, and even Loeffler, coming after the GOP’s lackluster early voting turnout and at a time when all hands are needed on deck, the source says.
“But there is one bright spot,” he says. “GUV PAC has modeled and identified 362,712 low-propensity targets, 25.41% or 92,156 have voted. If Republicans hold the line these will be the difference maker.”
In the political arena, where a week can seem like a year, two weeks can be an eternity.