Pence to campaign Friday in Georgia runoffs, but no word on a Trump trip

Pence to campaign Friday in Georgia runoffs, but no word on a Trump trip

Vice President Mike Pence will head to Georgia Friday to campaign with Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, the Republican incumbents in the state’s twin Senate runoff elections, which will determine whether the GOP keeps its majority in the chamber.

Perdue and Loeffler will join the vice president on a bus tour with stops in the northern Georgia cities of Canton and Gainesville.

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A Republican source close to the vice president’s orbit told Fox News that plans also are in the works for Pence to return to Georgia ahead of the runoff.

While the vice president is the most high profile of several prominent Republicans hitting the Georgia runoffs trail, there’s no word on whether his boss will head south to help keep the GOP majority in the Senate.

President Trump tweeted Thursday morning to highlight his part in helping Republicans make sizeable gains in the House of Representatives in this month’s election.

“It was my great honor to help, a tremendous achievement!,” the president touted as he retweeted his presidential campaign’s post highlighting that the GOP won all 27 House races listed as toss-ups by political handicappers.

While the president’s happy to showcase his down-ballot coattails, he’s remained relatively quiet when it comes to the Georgia runoffs. An adviser close to the president’s inner circle told Fox News that there’s been little discussion on whether Trump would head to Georgia ahead of the Jan. 5 elections on behalf of Perdue and Loeffler, who are both strong supporters of the president.

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Trump is currently refusing to concede to President-elect Joe Biden in this month’s presidential election.

Nearly two weeks after Fox News, other news networks and the Associated Press, projected that Biden secured the electoral votes needed to defeat Trump and become president-elect, Trump is hoping a spate of apparent longshot lawsuits he’s filed and a couple of recounts in key states will reverse Biden’s victory. One of those states is Georgia, where Biden narrowly topped Trump, becoming the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the state in more than a quarter century.

An automatic hand recount of the vote conducted by state officials slightly shaved Biden’s margin over the president, but he still leads Trump by more than 12,000 votes in the state.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport, Oct. 16, in Macon, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport, Oct. 16, in Macon, Ga. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump was last in Georgia two weeks before the Nov. 3 general election, when he spoke for two hours in front of a large crowd of supporters in Macon, Ga. Perdue and Loeffler need those Trump voters to return to polls Jan. 5 to keep their seats – and maintain the Senate majority.

“These runoffs are base turnout elections. And nobody’s been able to turn out his base and turnout the Republican base more than Donald Trump,” veteran Georgia-based Republican consultant Chip Lake told Fox News. “He’s got his hands tied right now, certainly in the legal fight over his re-election, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Donald Trump here before Jan. 5.”

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The current balance of power for the next Senate coming out of this month’s elections is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. That means, Democrats must win both of Georgia’s runoff elections to make it a 50-50 Senate. If that occurs, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote, giving her party a razor-thin majority in the chamber.

In Georgia, where state law dictates a runoff if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote, Perdue narrowly missed avoiding a runoff. He currently stands at 49.75% in the count, with nearly all votes counted. Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff trails by roughly 87,000 votes.

In the other race, Loeffler captured nearly 26% of the vote in a whopping 20-candidate special election to fill the final two years of the term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson. Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock won nearly 33% of the vote.

Republicans close to the Perdue and Loeffler campaigns said there’s been no outreach yet to the White House regarding a campaign visit by Trump in Georgia.

BIDEN LIKELY TO CAMPAIGN IN GEORGIA RUNOFF ELECTIONS

Democrats, meanwhile have their eyes on Biden – and former President Obama – who campaigned in Atlanta on Election Day eve on behalf of the former vice president, Ossoff, Warnock and down-ballot candidates.

Ron Klain, a longtime Biden aide and adviser who the president-elect has named as his incoming White House chief of staff, said Sunday that Biden would stump in Georgia ahead of the Jan. 5 runoffs.

“We’re going to work hard to help win those Senate seats,” Klain said on “Meet the Press.” “I think you’ll see the president-elect campaign down there as we’re getting closer to election day. We’re going to put people, money, resources down there to help our two good candidates win.”

“I want to win those seats in Georgia,” he said. “It will certainly be helpful to win those seats in Georgia, but we’re not going to let anything deter us from moving forward with our agenda.”

Fox News’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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