McDaniel Struggles To Energize Trump Supporters Convinced Of Fraud To Vote In GA Runoffs

Chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel addresses the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium on August 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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November 28, 2020 5:32 p.m.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on Saturday flailed as she sought to persuade Republicans to vote in the Georgia Senate runoff elections, telling voters seemingly resigned to loss amid false beliefs about election fraud peddled by President Donald Trump that “it’s not decided” what the outcome will be for GOP contenders in the Peach State.

Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are facing uphill reelection battles in the state after failing to secure more than 50% of the vote on Nov. 3, in a closely watched pair of upcoming January runoff elections that will likely determine which party will hold majority and control the Senate. 

CNN’s Ryan Nobles tweeted a video of an exchange between McDaniel and a voter, in which McDaniel responds to an apparently deflated voter who asked, “How are we going to miss money and work when it’s already decided?”

“It’s not decided, this is the key. It’s not decided!” McDaniel said. 

“So if you lose your faith and you don’t vote and people walk away — that will decide it,” McDaniel told the crowd, pointing at a lead by more than 88,000 votes by Perdue over Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff during the Nov. 3 election. 

McDaniel’s efforts to rally local Republicans to invest in the upcoming runoffs comes as President Trump devoted a significant share of his Thanksgiving press conference to false assertions of election fraud in the state.

President Trump has waged a war on the democratic process in Georgia, falsely pushing claims of widespread election fraud and calling Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) a “so-called Republican” and  “the enemy of the people,” even as the GOP official said that his own family had voted for Trump and “lost” as he sought to secure the integrity of the election while the sitting president and his allies made efforts to interfere.

On Thursday, Trump announced plans to travel to the Peach State to campaign for his allies. Loeffler has painted herself as as Trump loyalist and Perdue took the podium at a Trump campaign rally in October and seemed to willfully mispronounce the name of then Senate colleague and now Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ first name. 

Both Perdue and Loeffler have also baselessly called on Raffensperger to resign.

During a news conference on Thursday Trump told reporters that he confided to the GOP senators seeking reelection in the state that “I think you’re dealing in a very fraudulent system. I’m very worried about that.”

McDaniel is now tasked with reinvigorating voters who — in sympathizing with their failed candidate — seem to believe his continuous false claims of election fraud. As Trump continues to make those claims in an effort to soften the blow of his own loss, he hasn’t done his party any favors. 

At least one voter on Saturday parroted a false claim that voting machines changed votes that favored the President.

“We didn’t see that in the audit,” the RNC Chair said. “That evidence I haven’t seen, so we’ll wait and see on that.”

In her closing statement, McDaniel pleaded with disillusioned voters unable to acknowledge Trump’s loss and skeptical of officials in their own state.

“We’ve got to focus on January 5th right now,” McDaniel said. “We can deal with those other things later.”

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