Trump looms over Georgia's high-stakes Senate races, worrying Republicans

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In interviews, Georgia Republicans projected confidence that Trump's false claims of rampant fraud won't keep their voters home next month.
ATLANTA — President Donald Trump is ending his time in the White House as his bid for it began: waging a scorched-earth crusade against members of his own party.

With party control of the Senate hinging on a pair of runoff races in Georgia, Trump has spent the last few weeks trying to undermine confidence in an election he lost and attacking Republican officials here whom he once endorsed.

In interviews, Georgia Republicans projected confidence that Trump's false claims of rampant fraud and his continued efforts to sow doubt about the integrity of Georgia's electoral process won't keep their voters home next month — simply because the stakes of the Jan. 5 runoff elections are so clear.

But some did reveal concerns, while others called for party unity. In a state where the split between Democratic- and Republican-aligned voters is as tight as it can be, they know that if even a small segment of Trump supporters — or ticket-splitters — opt out, victory is more difficult.

"This is by far the toughest race we will ever navigate," said a Republican operative familiar with Sen. David Perdue's re-election campaign. "It's the most important, and it is the toughest.

"It's a very straightforward path, but it's a very windy road to get there," this person added. "Right now, I would say, I have never seen the Republican Party more united in understanding what's at stake and understanding what has to be done to stop it. ... People have different priorities in the meantime of what they're doing."

Trump and some allies have been lobbing baseless claims of a rigged election across the country, zeroing in on Georgia after he lost the state to President-elect Joe Biden by fewer than 13,000 votes. Trump has saved some of his strongest ire for Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both Republicans, and he has pushed them to take measures to overturn the election that the men have said would be illegal.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that if Kemp would simply handle…
Allan Smith, Alex Seitz-Wald
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