By Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga
He’ll promote Biden, Ossoff and Warnock
Former President Barack Obama will campaign in Georgia on Monday with an election eve rally to boost Joe Biden and Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, capping a flurry of attention-grabbing events in the battleground state during the race’s final stretch.
Obama’s visit represents a forceful final push by Biden’s campaign to expand the electoral map and capture Georgia’s 16 electoral votes – and deal a devastating blow to President Donald Trump’s re-election hopes. It’s also an effort to help the two Democratic Senate candidates, who are both in tight races that could determine control of the chamber.
He’s only the latest Democratic figure to trek to Georgia. Biden held two events in Atlanta on Tuesday, choosing the town of Warm Springs to deliver his closing message, and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is set to return on Sunday for the second time in eight days.
The details of the rally, announced by the campaign Saturday, were still under wraps. Obama, who has recently returned to the campaign trail with an unrestrained relish, last stumped in Georgia shortly before the 2018 vote to promote Stacey Abrams’ bid for governor.
More than 3.8 million Georgians have already cast ballots, and analysts from both political parties say demographic and voting history data suggests Democrats have built an early lead. But Republicans tend to have an edge on Election Day voting, and Obama’s visit aims to undercut the GOP advantage.
The Democratic pivot to Georgia has forced Trump to swing further to the defensive in a state he can’t afford to lose. He’s planned a Sunday evening rally in Rome, aiming to energize his base of rural conservatives in deeply-Republican northwest Georgia.
Trump carried the state by 5 percentage points in 2016 without once visiting after winning his party’s nomination, extending a Republican win streak in Georgia dating to 1996. But energized Democrats have given Trump a scare, and he’s already visited three times since July to try to fortify the state.
Polls help explain why. A string of recent surveys show Trump and Biden deadlocked in Georgia, including a Channel 2 Action News survey released Friday that shows the race is a tossup.
Other top races in Georgia are equally close, and Obama’s visit aims to give Democratic contenders down the ballot a major lift. Obama has endorsed both Ossoff and Warnock, and recently cut ads promoting their campaigns.
U.S. Sen. David Perdue hasn’t been able to shake Ossoff, who is tied with him in recent polls. And Warnock, a first-time candidate in a chaotic special election, is preparing for a likely runoff against U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler or U.S. Rep. Doug Collins on Jan. 5.