Over the past few years since Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams fought over the governorship, Georgia has gone from looking solid red to a lot more purple. As the November election gets closer, the Biden and Trump presidential campaigns have been dedicating serious resources, and some of their biggest names, into securing the states’ 16 electoral votes.
Over the past week, family members of both candidates have crisscrossed the state, both virtually and in person, in an attempt to swing voters to their candidates. The states electoral votes aren’t the only prize for the campaigns in November; the peach state is the only place where two Senate seats are up for grabs. With two competitive Senate races, a number of competitive congressional races, and 16 electoral college seats up for grabs, it’s no wonder the state is beginning to see real pushes from some of the biggest names in politics. Polls currently show a dead heat between President Donald Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden, with FiveThirtyEight’s polling average showing Trump with a 1.4 percent lead in the state he won by over 5 points four years ago.
This week’s visits began on Monday when Jill Biden virtually traveled to Georgia for an event focused on military veterans. The mother of a veteran, she spoke about the need to protect our troops in a roundtable with families of military members, citing her husband’s plans for veterans and their families. She spoke about the responsibilities our country has towards military veterans and their families, but also about the importance of the upcoming election, saying “The stakes in this election couldn’t be higher.”
The Trump campaign has taken a different approach to campaigning in the state, as both Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. host in-person campaign events.
Eric Trump hosted two events on Tuesday, beginning the day with an Evangelicals For Trump event that included such guests as the president’s spiritual advisor Paula White as well as Kemp, who made an unexpected appearance. At the Praise, Prayer and Patriotism event, the governor highlighted his six-week “abortion ban,” a bill he signed in May that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, and that “since taking office, I have literally worked around the clock to protect the born and the unborn.”
Eric Trump joked about maybe moving out of New York to Georgia, speaking about the state’s openness to business and denigrating New York’s Democratic leadership. The event featured a variety of Evangelical parts, including prayer, singing, and calls for God to protect the president and help to ensure his re-election against “Satan’s … fiery and fiercest darts [fired] at Donald J Trump.”
Later in the day, Eric Trump traveled to a hotel at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where he held a rally that had a more traditional campaign tone: attacking Joe Biden as a vehicle for the far left, attacking the media for their coverage of his father over the past few years, praising his father’s accomplishments, and talking about how Democrats are trying to steal this election. After the event, attended by about 150 people, the younger Trump waded into the crowd to sign hats and takes selfies with supporters of his father.
With the last major visit from the campaigns this week, Donald Trump Jr. headlined a rally in Savannah. There he attacked Joe Biden’s mental acuity, the media and the former vice president’s record in his decades in office. A large focus of his speech, as well as Eric Trump’s, was that Biden, who has been in Washington for over 50 years, has little to show for his time and that he is complaining about things he had time to work on. While the reality of Biden’s record isn’t as empty as the Trump campaign likes to put it, the talking point of Biden being a Washington stooge, who has never accomplished anything significant in his decades in politics, was central to the messages of the Georgia visit by Trump’s sons. Eric Trump also touched on everything from Bill Clinton and child trafficking to how “Joe Biden finally came out of his basement.” The visits from Trump’s sons and Jill Biden showcase what the next few months hold for Georgia, virtual and in-person rallies across the state as the campaigns compete for the numerous prizes the states November elections hold.