On a clear morning, eager volunteers crisscrossed Atlanta suburbs, trying to convince reluctant and skeptical conservatives to register for next month’s election.
Hard work everywhere, but especially important in the state of Georgia, where Donald Trump lied about a stolen 2020 election created a new constituency for his anti-election campaign and some fear that ballots will be counted in November.
The messenger unlikely to send the team to the polls is former Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who initially supported the defeated president overturning Joe Biden’s victory, but now the skeptic. suspect is wearing blue jeans and a checkered shirt to conduct the election. re-election.
“We saw it first-hand in the election,” Loeffler said in an interview last Saturday outside Cobb County Republican headquarters, where volunteers gathered.
Loeffler told the Associated Press how Al Warnock lost to Democrat Rafael after more than 330,000 Republicans voted in the 2020 presidential election in January 2021. Now that Warnock faces Republican Herschel Walker in a race that could determine the balance of power in the US Senate, Loeffler is trying to avoid a repeat.
“Our effort is to strengthen Georgia’s voice, take back our country, and say we won’t be silenced,” Loeffler said before sending the volunteers out. “We know people vote more when they feel important.”
It is a single mandate with an uncertain future in November, the first national election since Trump repeatedly attacked the US election system, and on January 6 when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to prevent Biden’s confirmation.
As Republicans in Georgia and around the country seek to maintain a fragile coalition of voters, there are those who accept Trump’s fraud allegations and those who deny them.
“It reflects the real tension in the Republican message,” said Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at New America, a Washington-based democracy think tank.
You claim to yourself that the election was staged when you really needed to get people to vote.
Voters are eager to cast their ballots this fall. According to a new poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Research, 71% of registered voters believe America’s future is at stake in this year’s election. But the poll also shows a large percentage of Republicans (58%) still think Biden’s pick was unfair.
GOP strategist Brian Robinson said Georgians are reeling from Trump’s message, following his victory this year, with Trump’s tried-and-true secretary of state, Brad Laura Brad Raffensperger, trying to find “11,780” votes unsuccessfully elected, while Republican Governor Brian Kemp was on the far right of the state. . The result angered Trump.
“By almost all accounts, Georgia voters passed the 2020 election and largely denied the voter fraud allegations,” said Robinson.
But Democrats say Republicans are trying to do both, calling on what they call MAGA strategists and moderators, alluding to Trump supporters, to make America great. come back. While Loeffler describes Georgia’s new election law as an anti-fraud measure, Democrats say the Republican-led law is unnecessary and a response to Trump’s 2020 lie.
A flawed ambassador in many ways, Loeffler initially denied the results of the 2020 election. He took to the stage at a Trump rally when he made a statement about a hit presidential election. steal. Because of the vote, they asked Rafensberg to resign. Loeffler has promised Trump voters that he will not skip congressional attendance and has won public praise, but will end his effort within hours of the attack on the Capitol in January 6, 2021.
Loeffler, a wealthy former businessman close to Trump, has invested more than $2 million in Greater Georgia and the Republican branch of Citizenship for Greater Georgia. He’s partly modeled on Democrat Stacey Abrams, a running candidate who won the nationwide franchise in a rematch with Kemp.
“I have said since the day I started this effort, we cannot let the left monopolize voter registration in our state,” Loeffler said of the group that was formed after the defeat.
A mixed group of Greater Georgia volunteers clapped and chanted, “Mine is lost!” – a nod to the Queen’s song – on Marietta Street, split into small groups through various fixtures to Midway.
Lisa Buxton, a Trump voter, said she joined Loeffler’s effort because she was tired of “throwing everything at my TV” a year after the former president’s defeat.
Buxton said she was saddened by Trump’s departure and started her own women’s church group where Christians act and pray about election and election strategy.
“Our motto is to know what happened. We know what happened before. We are moving forward,” he said.
He paused when asked if Biden was the legitimate president.
“He’s sitting on the couch,” she said. “According to the Electoral College, it’s there, so it’s there. I’m there. I’m not going down the rabbit hole because I jump and scream a lot.“
The challenge of reaching skeptical voters at the start of the week was clear. Voter registration rates are high in Georgia, and on that day, volunteers will meet locals who aren’t usually open or moving — literally or politically.
According to Scott Davenport, the area is all Republican, but giant Newt Gingrich died the day he put up a lawn sign in support of the Republican former Speaker of the House.
Davenport, a father of two daughters who works in commercial real estate, said he started voting Democrats during the Trump era. He denied that he shared Republican rhetoric about race and the outcome of the 2020 election.
“I’m not leaving the GOP, the GOP is leaving me,” he said, sweeping the floor as an out-of-home salesman. “You’re too much for me.”