On Jan. 5, both Georgia GOP senators fell in runoff elections to Democratic challengers. As a result, two Democrats represent the state in the Senate for the first time since 2003, and the upper chamber of Congress is under Democratic control.
There was enough Republican support in Georgia to carry GOP Senator David Perdue over the top in the runoff — and probably enough to give Senator Kelly Loeffler the edge — but lack of turnout was a factor in handing both races to the Democrats.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution analyzed the election results back in February:
Control of the U.S. Senate was on the line, but many Georgia Republicans — at least some deterred by Donald Trump’s loss — stayed home rather than cast ballots in January’s runoffs.
Their absence at the polls helped swing Georgia and the Senate to the Democrats.
Over 752,000 Georgia voters who cast ballots in the presidential election didn’t show up again for the runoffs just two months later, according to a new analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of recently released voting records.
More than half of the no-shows were white, and many lived in rural areas, constituencies that lean toward Republican candidates.
The reason these people stayed home on Jan. 5? The theory that the 2020 election was stolen:
Now, according to the claims of one author, the former president has admitted his role in the Georgia election debacle.
In David Drucker’s new book, In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP, Drucker recalls a conversation he had with Trump about the Georgia runoff:
I asked Trump: What might have happened if you told Republicans in Georgia that, despite some irregularities that deserved looking into, the state’s voting system was reliable, so please go vote?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I did two rallies — very successful rallies. I did say a version of that, but not as strongly as you said, because I was angry with what happened there.”
WHEN I INTERVIEWED TRUMP for #InTrumpsShadow, I asked about the role he played in the outcome of two #GASEN specials on 1/5. He didn’t shy away from trouble he caused his party. A little twexcerpt 👇 https://t.co/VJNPUmWX1d & @indiebound pic.twitter.com/RnY9ymnczH
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) October 19, 2021
Trump is working overtime to undo the damage of Jan. 5 by campaigning hard for Heisman Trophy winner and Georgia Bulldogs football legend Herschel Walker. As CNN reported last month:
[Trump] gave Republican former football star Herschel Walker his “Complete and Total Endorsement” in Georgia’s US Senate race, praising him as “a friend, a Patriot and an outstanding American who is going to be a GREAT United States Senator.”
“Herschel Walker will never let you down,” Trump said in a statement. Walker in turn thanked the former President in a tweet, writing: “Together, we will win back the U.S. Senate for GEORGIA!!”
Here’s hoping Trump can work his magic this November to drive turnout to Herschel Walker and other GOP candidates in order to “Make Georgia Red Again.”