January 4, 2021 - Monday
In Georgia, 2020 Isn't Finished Yet
January 4, 2021
As happy as everyone was to see 2020 go, there's no easing into its replacement. The new year is already off to a roaring start, thanks to two U.S. Senate runoffs, a new Congress, and an electoral college challenge that's creating plenty of fireworks before Wednesday's joint-session showdown on Capitol Hill. After an endless string of high-stakes weeks and months, both sides are right: the next 72 hours are as crucial as they get.
For at least two more days, the most important stage is Georgia, where Senators Kelly Loeffler (R) and David Perdue (R) are in the fight of their political lives -- and the party's life -- for control of the U.S. Senate. After a slew of inconclusive holiday polls, the only thing anyone knows for sure is that turnout will rule the day. Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock (D) and Jon Ossoff (D) have outraised conservatives, but at the end of the day, dollars aren't what count. Votes do. And right now, both races are tighter "than a 35-minute connection at Atlanta's [international] airport," pundits joked.
By Monday, more than three million Georgians had already voted -- ratcheting up the Election Day pressure for Republicans, in particular. Adding to the GOP's heartburn, voters in the rural, conservative districts seem to be waiting to cast their ballots -- many out of the growing conviction that in-person, day-of voting is the only sure way to make their voice count. While the early numbers trickled in, GOP officials were doing everything they could to reassure Georgians -- even doubling the number of poll watchers from 4,000 to 8,000 on Election Day. It will be, Loeffler and Perdue's campaigns insisted, the "largest and most aggressive ballot security [and] voter integrity operation" in Georgia history.
"Georgians deserve total confidence in the fairness and accuracy of our state's elections, and we're thankful to the thousands of volunteers who will ensure that these runoffs are safe, secure, and that every legal vote is counted," the two Republican senators said in a joint statement. Locals like Stephen Bowser told reporters that what happened in November has "definitely had an impact on why I decided to come out and vote in person. I just didn't want... part of that process... being suspect." With everything on the line -- including the direction of this nation -- both parties have an interest in ensuring there are no questions about this outcome.
That's a theme President Donald Trump will almost certainly echo today when he visits the state for a last-minute get-out-the-vote rally. No state produced a closer result for the president than Georgia, so if anyone understands the importance of base turnout, it's the commander-in-chief. Both he and Senator Perdue each won about 60-percent of in-person votes on November 3. And while it's probably not the president's favorite statistic, Republican Senate candidates "did slightly better than Trump" in the urban areas like Atlanta, Geoffrey Skelley points out. Even the small number of split-ticket voters, others explain, might be enough to tip the scales. If those trends hold, and conservatives everywhere pray they do, Republicans have reason for optimism.
Even so, FRC Action isn't taking any chances. Our team has been on the ground for weeks, working right up until and after the Christmas holiday -- hosting pastor briefings, activist trainings, even a rally at Truett McConnell University. With about 115 Generation Joshua and Faith and Freedom Coalition volunteers, we've knocked on 13,000 doors, made 20,000 phone calls, and distributed tens of thousands of Voter Guides. We want people to understand that nothing less than the future of our Constitution, Supreme Court, rule of law, and human life is on the ballot Tuesday. Sitting this one out is not an option. For now, the future of America runs right through Georgia. And it's up to the Bible-believing men and women of the state to stand up and make a difference. I understand that people are upset about what happened in November. But as Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, "I think the answer if you're unhappy about [the general election] is not to stay home but show up, bring your friends, bring your family, and end up with a big victory Tuesday night."
If you don't live in Georgia, you can still have a tremendous impact just by praying for the election and its integrity. Also, take the time to share trusted resources. There's no starker contrast than FRC Action's Voter Guides, comparing the four candidates on issues like life, judges, religious freedom, transgenderism, Israel, guns, and more. Follow the links for the Perdue-Ossoff and Loeffler-Warnock versions.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.