By Greg Bluestein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga
The White House race pivots to Georgia on Sunday as President Donald Trump and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris rally their core supporters in a state where recent pollscouldn’t be closer.
Just eight days after her last visit, Harris is making a beeline to Gwinnett County early Sunday afternoon. Once a Republican stronghold, the suburban county flipped in 2016 – and Democrats now aim to run up the score in a county that’s increasingly tilted in their favor.
Trump is headed to Rome for an 8:30 p.m. rally in one of the most conservative corners of the state, hoping to drive up turnoutamong mostly white, rural conservatives who form the most reliable bloc of his electoral coalition in Georgia.
The visits come as polls show Trump and Joe Biden deadlocked in Georgia, which last voted Democratic for president in 1992. Though Trump easily captured Georgia in 2016, the Democratic surge in the suburbs has forced him to the defensive this year. His trip Sunday is his fourth to Georgia since July; by contrast, he didn’t visit once in the final stretch of the 2016 race.
Harris last visited Georgia on Oct. 23, making multiple stops across Atlanta in an appeal to wavering Black voters. Her visit Sunday focuses on Gwinnett, where Democrats aim to sweep countywide offices and early voting turnout has already exceeded the overall 2016 total.
Trump is focused on his core constituency with his visit to Rome, the heart of one of the nation’s most conservative congressional districts. His strategy is to offset Democratic gains in the suburbs by energizing a rural Georgia base that fueled his 2016 victory.
Both will also promote down-ticket candidates. U.S. Sen. David Perdue is neck-and-neck in polls with Democrat Jon Ossoff. And Democrat Raphael Warnock is expected to face U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler or U.S. Rep. Doug Collins in a likely January runoff. Both races could determine control of the U.S. Senate.
A record 3.9 million people have already cast ballots, and Republicans are relying on heavy Election Day turnout to keep Georgia in the GOP column.
Georgia’s moment in the national spotlight won’t be fleeting. Former President Barack Obama is headed to Georgia on Monday for an election eve rally, and both parties could scrap through Jan. 5 over the Senate contests.