It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Senate runoff elections in Georgia. The January 5 contests will determine which party has a bare majority in the body. If Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff both win, the Senate will be tied at 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris being the tie breaker. If either Republican incumbent, Kelly Loeffler or David Perdue, holds on, Mitch McConnell remains Senate Majority Leader.
Does Donald Trump care which party controls the Senate? At this point, his narcissistic ego continues to be obsessed with conspiracy theories about a “rigged election” that he lost. If that’s the case, it’s easy to picture him not giving a damn about Loeffler (who he opposed), or Perdue, or anyone else.
As the president seeks to undermine confidence in the country’s entire election system with his lies, it is possible that, perhaps for the first time, his interests and those of the Republican Party are at odds. Frank Luntz, Republican pollster and strategist, addressed the conflict by saying that, “If [Trump] continues to disillusion voters … by saying that the elections were rigged and that your vote doesn’t matter, this could have severe consequences…in trying to keep those two seats Republican.”
On the social media platform Parler, Trump’s most avid supporters are already talking about boycotting the Georgia Senate election. Investigative reporter Marcus Baraum posed a question to Georgia’s voters: “If voting machines are rigged, how can you trust the runoff election?” Here are some of the responses:
YOU CAN’T! The only way to send a message is to BOYCOTT the vote. Make it HURT for them.
WE CAN’T!!!! WRITE IN TRUMP OR BOYCOTT.
Voting in an illegitimate election is tantamount to accepting deep state control. Your vote = the illusion of freedom. #boycottgeorgiarunoffs
STAY HOME. OSSOFF AND WARNOCK ARE A SMALL PRICE TO PAY.
DO NOT VOTE IN THE GEORGIA RUNOFFS, THE DEEP STATE WILL BE COLLECTING EVERYONE’S INFO. THIS IS A CHARADE, MEANT TO IDENTIFY PEOPLE WHO DON’T VOTE DEMOCRAT
It is unclear whether those comments represent a movement or simply a small subset of Georgia voters. But in a close race, it could only take a small number of disaffected Republicans to throw the race to the Democrats.
Support for this effort isn’t limited to individual voters in Georgia. The Committee for American Sovereignty, a super PAC with ties to Roger Stone, unveiled a new web site, “Hack the Runoff,” calling on Georgians to write-in Trump’s name on their ballots.
With enough write-ins in the Georgia senate race, we can tilt the balance in Georgia in Trump’s favor! If we can do this, we have a real chance at getting these RINO senators to act on the illegitimate and corrupt election presided over by a Democrat party that is invested in the Communist takeover of Our Great Nation. We will not stop fighting for you, the American Patriot, against the evils of Socialism and inferior Religions. This is a Christian Nation and will be as long as we fight, together, for our sovereignty.
Georgia’s most famous conservative, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, added fuel to the fire by suggesting that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger are on the “other side,” inferring that they would help Democrats steal the election. Gingrich declared that “the anger over the secretary of state’s incompetence and the governor’s failure to lead could mean that Republicans just stay home.”
Joining the fray is L. Lin Wood, an Atlanta-based lawyer who is part of Trump’s legal team. Wood filed a suit in Georgia to have all mail-in ballots disqualified, but it was summarily dismissed by a Trump-appointed judge. Wood is now threatening to boycott the Senate races.
Why are they doing little or nothing to support efforts by GA citizens to address unlawful election & need for @BrianKempGA to order special session of legislature?
If not fixed, I will NOT vote in GA runoff.
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) November 21, 2020
Demonstrating Wood’s following among Trump’s supporters, that statement was retweeted over 9,000 times.
Watching this unfold is a reminder that Donald Trump launched himself onto the national political scene via the birtherism conspiracy theory. Mitch McConnell didn’t mind that as long as it helped him maintain power. How ironic would it be if Trump’s conspiracy theorists wound up being the ones to sabotage the leader’s Senate majority?