Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), the man who President Trump wanted to be appointed for the recently vacated U.S. Senate seat, will be running for that same seat in this year’s general election.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp ignored the President’s advice and appointed WNBA team owner and establishment megadonor Kelly Loeffler to the open Senate seat instead. Loeffler is now a U.S. Senator despite never being elected and having a history of supporting abortion-related causes.
Collins is already recruiting his campaign staff and calling politicians and supporters to inform them of his decision, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He hopes to receive support from key members of the President’s inner circle, and perhaps even the Commander-in-Chief himself.
Loeffler is desperately trying to pander to President Trump to fend off Collins’ challenge. She even threw Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who she once raised funds for during his failed presidential run in 2012, under the bus for playing footsie with Democrats during Trump’s impeachment trial.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) January 27, 2020
Because of the strange circumstances of former Sen. Johnny Isakson’s sudden retirement with three years left in his term, a special election is expected to take place in November with multiple Republicans on the ballot competing with Democrats. It could result in a runoff election in Jan. 2021 if no candidate reaches more than 50 percent of the vote on the first go-around.
Collins likely has the edge over his competitors considering his status as one of the President’s top defenders in the House. Donald Trump Jr. has helped raise funds for Collins, referring to him as the type of “fighter” that the GOP needs in the Senate. Collins is also close with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is perhaps the most influential adviser within the Trump administration.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and other organs of the establishment GOP are expected to back Loeffler, as she hopes her money and connections are enough to defeat the grassroots champion.
There is still a possibility that the special election could be scrapped and replaced with a more traditional Republican primary that would happen in May. The Elections Subcommittee of the House Governmental Affairs Committee voted 8-2 on Monday to alter the rules and allow a head-to-head contest between Loeffler and Collins to determine the GOP nominee for the general election in November against the Democrat.
“It benefits the party process, which is an integral part of our elections process,” said Rep. Shaw Blackmon of Bonaire, who chairs the Governmental Affairs Committee.
“It stands to reason that the electoral process for this special election can mirror that of other offices,” said House Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge.
“The underlying principle of this legislation is a fair, comparable playing field for all those seeking elected office. Surely, that is something we can all agree on,” he added.
Gov. Kemp would be expected to veto the legislation if it ended up on his desk, as he is desperate to protect his pick Loeffler. The U.S. Senate special election in Georgia will likely be another tense showdown of the grassroots against the establishment within the GOP.
Polls for the Presidential Election Are Tightening, And Fast
This race is getting hot.
New polls for the November presidential election are gravitating in President Donald Trump’s direction, after months of polling that indicated Democratic challenger Joe Biden was dominating the race.
Polls from Rasmussen and the Hill have indicated that the race is close, and even within the margin of error, with the President regaining several percentage points. Polling aggregator RealClearPolitics reveals that recent polls show the President has gained 3-5 percent support.
RCP Average at Biden+6, down from Biden+10 a couple weeks ago and Biden+8 a week ago
— american nationalist (@NationalistTV) August 6, 2020
Polls in battleground states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania show a race that is statistically tied. A Zogby Analytics poll of North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania showed a razor-thin race in the latter three states, with Biden leading by no more than three percentage points in all of them.
Trump’s gain in recent rounds of polling may be a product of a refocused campaign strategy, with the President branching out to the constituency of white working class voters that proved essential to his shock 2016 election victory after former campaign manager Brad Parscale was reassigned.
Razor-thin election margins could mean the election is once again decided by the electoral college, as Biden’s lead in national polling places undue consideration on large margins of victory in reliably Democratic states such as California and New York.
Biden has been reluctant to appear in public, scheduling only a handful of events in which he’s received questions from the press. The President’s increasingly focused coronavirus press briefings may have signaled his intention to successfully control the pandemic.
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