“We need his voters. And it has a huge following out there, “said South Dakota Senate Whip John Thune. “Right now, he is trying to get through the final stages of his election and determine the outcome there. But when all this is said and done, as long as it comes out, we want it to help Georgia. “
Vice President Mike Pence told Senate Republicans at a luncheon party Tuesday that he would head to Georgia to campaign for the GOP nominees on Nov. 20, and some Republicans believe Trump will eventually follow suit.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn said that even if Biden formally wins the election, Trump will want to make sure his legacy is not “completely undone” by a Democratic Senate.
“It has a legitimate interest in ensuring that we retain a majority,” Korn said.
As Republicans spent Tuesday celebrating a series of battle-state victories and re-electing the Senate leadership, the party has undoubtedly turned its attention to Peach State. The issue dominated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s meeting with his senior lieutenants on Monday afternoon and proceeded to Tuesday’s party meetings, according to two people familiar with the rallies.
A handful of Republicans have recognized Biden as president-elect in recent days, while others have embraced Trump’s election conspiracy theories. However, most Republicans say the president’s legal battles should take place and will simply not congratulate Biden even, even because some admit the vote is unlikely to be reversed.
As unusual as this position is, GOP senators hope it will soften the president enough to turn him into an ally at a critical juncture.
“We have two games in Georgia, and we do not want people to think, ‘Well, my vote does not matter, so why should I leave? “So we will just stay and be supportive where we can,” said a Republican senator who asked not to be named to explain the GOP’s thinking. “It simply came to our notice then. We know by January 20, it must happen, the hammer will fall. So, if they are going to sue, they better find evidence immediately. “
McConnell led the charge in that position, politely acknowledging that Trump has a right to legal action, refusing to support baseless allegations of voter fraud by the White House and Trump allies. He said that if Trump loses, Biden’s transition to power will not be affected by the series of legal challenges. He dismissed concerns about the president’s tactics: “It is not unusual. It should not be a concern, at some point we will find out who is certified. “
No one pays more attention to the Senate than McConnell. And he knows Trump will be important in Georgia. Republicans must win at least one of the races to maintain a majority. A Democratic sweep would mean a 50-50 draw and would throw the Senate to the Democrats with the elected Vice President Kamala Harris as a draw.
Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker said “it would be my hope” that Trump was helping Loeffler and Perdue, adding: “This is the feeling of the majority leader.” Other senators speculate that Trump – who loves the campaign – will pass them by at a critical juncture.
“I can not imagine it is not. “I would be surprised if Trump did not rally in Georgia,” said Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who will campaign there later this week and take over the National Democratic Senate next year. “I hope the president is active and will have a positive impact.”
“I expect him to do it. “But I guess it focuses mainly on the legal issues they seek,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. He said Trump’s legal challenges are perfectly normal: “What do you think election lawyers do all day?”
In some ways, the GOP strategy is reminiscent of how they could handle a provocative Trump tweet: Avoid breaking with the president and hope he leaves, knowing that some new controversy is always near. However, Democrats say their stance is dangerous and that Republicans’ refusal to resist Trump and maintain the integrity of the election will have lasting negative consequences beyond the two Senate rallies in a state of fluctuation.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) Said that if Trump voters lose their faith in the election, then “I’m not sure democracy hangs for another 100 years.”
“There is an epidemic of illusion that is spreading from the White House and infecting the entire Republican Party after this election,” Murphy said in a speech Tuesday afternoon. “President Trump did not win the election. All my colleagues know that.”
Marianne LeVine contributed to this report.