President Trump will headline a Republican National Committee rally Saturday at 7 p.m. at the airport in Valdosta, Ga., a city in the southern part of the state.
The rally is to support the reelection campaigns of Georgia’s two Republican senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are candidates in a runoff election, which will determine control of the Senate.
After much speculation, the president told reporters on Thanksgiving that he would head to Georgia to campaign on behalf of Perdue and Loeffler. Trump’s visit will come a day after Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to make his second stop in Georgia in recent weeks to stump alongside the GOP senators. Trump was last in Georgia in October, when he headlined a large rally in Macon.
The balance of power for the next Senate coming out of this month’s elections is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. This means Democrats must win both of Georgia’s runoff elections to make it a 50-50 Senate. If that occurs, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote, giving her party a razor-thin majority in the chamber.
In Georgia, where state law dictates a runoff if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote, Perdue narrowly missed avoiding a runoff, winning 49.75% of the vote. Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff trailed by roughly 87,000 votes.
In the other race, Loeffler captured nearly 26% of the vote in a whopping 20-candidate special election to fill the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson. Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock won nearly 33% of the vote.
The campaigns, the political parties, and outside groups such as super PACs are dishing out massive amounts of money into the runoffs. Nearly $300 million has already been spent to run or reserve time for ads.
The president’s visit comes as he continues to fight the results of the presidential contest in Georgia, a once solidly red state that’s turned into a crucial battleground in recent years. President-elect Joe Biden carried the state by roughly 12,000 votes in last month’s election. The results were backed up by a manual recount mandated by state officials. A recount requested by the president, which is expected to be completed by the end of this week, isn’t expected to result in any “substantial changes,” according to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Raffensperger, a Republican and Trump supporter, told reporters on Wednesday that “it looks like Vice President Biden will be carrying Georgia.”