Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that Georgia’s record-setting primary election early voting turnout is proof that Democrat claims the state’s new election security law is voter suppression are ‘disinformation’
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of pushing a ‘big lie’ about voter suppression on Tuesday as Georgians head to the ballot box after already having shattered early voting records for a primary election.
The Peach State’s primary elections are the first test of its new election security law, which President Joe Biden blasted as an ‘atrocity’ and ‘Jim Crow in the 21st Century’ when it was passed last year.
Addressing the Senate floor on Tuesday morning, McConnell cast the roughly 850,000 votes sent in early in Georgia as proof that Democratic attacks on the law were ‘disinformation.’
‘We are seeing the hard evidence as we all knew the hysteria was never based on fact to begin with,’ McConnell said. He quoted a report claiming an elderly black voter had said, ‘I had heard that we were going to try to — they were going to try to deter us in any way possible.’
The Kentucky Republican added: ‘ Shame, shame on the Democrats who pushed the big lie that a grand scheme was afoot to prevent millions of Americans from voting.’
McConnell’s use of the phrase ‘big lie’ is significant – it’s the shorthand nickname that Democrats and members of the mainstream media have adopted for Donald Trump’s false claims the 2020 election fraud was stolen.
‘It was never true. It was just to push their preexisting policy agenda. The fake hysteria was just a pretext to push a sweeping national takeover of election laws that Democrats had already had on the shelf for a number of years,’ the Senate GOP leader said, referencing federal voter protection legislation like the John R. Lewis Act that failed to pass in the Senate.
It’s the kind of national action spearheaded by former Georgia state lawmaker and 2022 gubernatorial candidate, progressive activist Stacey Abrams. Since narrowly losing the 2018 governor’s race to Republican Brian Kemp – who oversaw Georgia elections at the time as Secretary of State – Abrams has focused her efforts and rising Democratic profile on increasing voter registration and turnout.
Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor of Georgia, is a progressive activist who’s pushed for Congress to pass federal voting rights legislation. McConnell slammed those efforts as ‘a sweeping national takeover of election laws’
McConnell said Tuesday of those efforts, ‘Now the rhetoric is proving false right before our eyes. These commonsense Republican laws appear to be achieving just what the American people want.’
‘The American people want to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.’
Early voting in Georgia’s 2022 primary elections was a 168 percent increase over those in 2018 and a staggering 212 percent higher than the 2020 primaries, a presidential election year.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who Trump is actively campaigning to unseat in Tuesday’s Republican primary, credited the Election Integrity Act for the record turnout.
The number are a ‘testament to the security of the voting system and the hard work of our county election officials,’ he said in a statement.
‘The incredible turnout we have seen demonstrates once and for all that Georgia’s Election Integrity Act struck a good balance between the guardrails of access and security.’
More than 850,000 people cast early or absentee ballots in the Peach State’s primary elections, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffansperger said
It’s a 212 percent increase over early voting turnout in the 2020 primary, a presidential election year
It comes after another Georgia primary candidate – former Senator David Perdue, who is running to unseat Kemp with Trump’s blessing – told Abrams to ‘go back where she came from’ and accused her of ‘demeaning her own race’ after she called Georgia the ‘worst state’ to live in the country as voters headed to the polls for the primaries.
The Trump-backed Perdue accused the Democratic candidate for governor on Monday night of ‘demeaning her own race’ with the comments on the eve of the Republican race that sees him trailing to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.
‘She said that Georgia is the worst place in the country to live. Hey, she ain’t from here,’ Perdue said during an appearance on John Fredericks’s radio show. ‘Let her go back to where she came from. She doesn’t like it here.
‘The only thing she wants is to be president of the United States. She doesn’t care about the people of Georgia.
‘She should never be considered material for governor of any state, much less our state where she hates to live.’
Abrams was born in Wisconsin and lived in Mississippi before she moved to Georgia for high school and college and to start her political career.
Former Senator David Perdue told Stacey Abrams to ‘go back where she came from’ and accused her of ‘demeaning her own race’ after she called Georgia the ‘worst state’ to live in the country as voters headed to the polls for the primaries
Perdue then went on to discuss comments she made in 2018 that residents ‘shouldn’t have to go into or hospitality to make a living in Georgia.’
‘When she told black farmers, ‘You don’t need to be on the farm,’ and she told black workers in hospitality and all this, ‘You don’t need to be,’ she is demeaning her own.’
Republicans have torn into the comments Abrams made at the weekend on Georgia. She claimed they were taken out of context and were in reference to the state’s low ranking in issues such as maternal mortality rates.
‘I am tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live,’ Abrams said. ‘When you’re No. 48 for mental, when you’re No. 1 for maternal mortality, when you have an incarceration rate that’s on the rise and wages that are on the decline, then you are not the No. 1 place to live in the United States.
‘But we can get there. You see, Georgia is capable of greatness. We just need greatness to be in our governor’s office’.
‘She said that Georgia is the worst place in the country to live. Hey, she ain’t from here,’ Perdue said during an appearance on John Fredericks’s radio show. ‘Let her go back to where she came from. She doesn’t like it here
Georgia voters head to the polls for primaries and a test of Trump’s power: Marjorie Taylor Greene fights for re-election and Perdue tries to bring down Brian Kemp
Georgia primary voters are heading to the polls on Tuesday, where the strength of Donald Trump’s endorsements will be tested on everything from Congressional races, the governor’s primary and even for the role overseeing the state’s elections.
The Peach State shattered early voting records for a primary election, with more than 850,000 already cast according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office.
‘Compared early-voting turnout in recent primaries, this represented a 168 percent increase over the 2018, the last gubernatorial primary and a 212 percent jump above 2020, the last presidential primary year,’ a statement from his office read.
Raffensperger credited the state’s newly-passed election security law for the surge by creating ‘short lines, smooth easy ballot access, and confidence in ballot security,’ despite Democrat critics blasting it as ‘voter suppression.’
In the heavily-rural 14th Congressional District, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is facing a crowded field of opponents trying to take her seat led by healthcare executive Jennifer Strahan.
Meanwhile Republican voters statewide will go to the ballot box to decide whether to keep Governor Brian Kemp or get behind his Trump-backed opponent, former Senator Perdue.
Strahan is hoping to offer voters the same brand of Trump-inspired America First politics without the eyebrow-raising headlines that caused Greene to be stripped of her committee assignments by the Democrat-led House early last year.
Asked how Greene feels heading into Tuesday race, her spokesman told DailyMail.com that ‘she is very confident.’
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her main opponent, healthcare executive Jennifer Strahan, both spent the weekend campaigning for voters’ attention in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District
Greene’s spokesman directed DailyMail.com to the congresswoman’s Telegram channel, where she shared photos and videos of herself mingling with supporters
Trump’s former press secretary for governor and AOC-backed Democrat looking for an upset: What to watch out for in key primary races in four other states
ALABAMA: Senator Richard Shelby’s retirement sparks tense race
Senator Richard Shelby’s retirement launched a heated and expensive primary for the GOP nomination for the seat.
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks faces Katie Britt, the former leader of the Business Council of Alabama and Shelby´s former chief of staff, and businessman Mike Durant, best known as the helicopter pilot shot down and held captive in the events chronicled in “Black Hawk Down.”
Trump initially endorsed Brooks last year but withdrew the endorsement in March after their relationship soured. Trump has not made another endorsement in the race. The fractured field increases the chances the race will go to a June 21 runoff.
Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is attempting to avoid a runoff as she faces several challengers from her right flank.
Lindy Blanchard, who was Trump´s ambassador to Slovenia, and businessman Tim James have criticized Ivey´s support of a gas tax increase and her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that included a temporary mask mandate and appeals for people to get vaccinated. They also criticized Ivey over a charter school that welcomed LGBTQ students.
Ivey has emphasized her conservative record, including signing legislation – now blocked by the courts – to make abortion a felony at any stage of pregnancy. In one campaign commercial, the governor pulls a handgun out of her purse to note her support of permitless concealed carry.
ARKANSAS: Trump’s ex-press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders favorite to win Republican nomination for governor
In Arkansas, two-term Senator John Boozman hopes to fend off a challenge from three Republican rivals in a race in which he´s had to rely on his endorsement from Trump as well as the state´s top GOP figures.
The mild-mannered Boozman has taken a more aggressive tone in his campaign ads, vowing to complete the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Boozman´s rivals include former NFL player Jake Bequette, who has the support of a super PAC that´s aired ads attacking Boozman as not conservative enough, and Jan Morgan, a conservative activist and former TV reporter.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s former spokesperson, is heavily favored in her Republican primary for governor. She faces a long-shot primary challenge from former talk show radio host Doc Washburn.
Sanders has shattered fundraising records and has focused mainly on national issues, running spots criticizing President Joe Biden on issues like inflation while ignoring her rivals.
Five Democrats are seeking the party´s nomination for governor, with nuclear engineer and ordained minister Chris Jones the front-runner.
The candidates are running to succeed Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is barred by term limits from seeking reelection.
TEXAS: Jeb Bush’s son and a battle been a moderate Democrat and his AOC-backed rival
Texas held the first primary of 2022 back in March, but runoffs will finally settle two major races.
One puts the Bush family dynasty on the line: Republican George P. Bush, a son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has spent the past year mounting a primary challenge to Paxton, the two-term attorney general.
George P. Bush is the last of his family still in public office and finished 20 percentage points behind Paxton in a four-way primary. Since then, Bush´s efforts to close the gap have centered on emphasizing Paxton´s legal troubles, including an ongoing FBI investigation into corruption accusations and a separate 2015 indictment on securities fraud charges.
Paxton, who has denied wrongdoing, has broad party support and Trump´s endorsement.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Henry Cuellar´s bid for a 10th term has run head-on into a reenergized national battle over abortion rights. His position as one of the last anti-abortion Democrats in Congress has become a central issue in his runoff against Jessica Cisneros, a 28-year-old immigration attorney and abortion rights supporter.
Democratic House leaders have lined up behind Cuellar, who is backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Cisneros trailed Cuellar by roughly 1,000 votes in March, but Cuellar didn’t hit the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.
MINNESOTA: Republican race to replace Rep. Jim Hagedorn after his cancer death
A primary Tuesday in southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District is a first step for replacing Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died of cancer in February.
A special general election to fill the rest of Hagedorn´s term in the Republican-leaning district is scheduled for Aug. 9.
Hagedorn´s widow, Jennifer Carnahan, has been making the most overt appeals to Trump´s supporters. She was state chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota until being forced out last August after a prominent donor was indicted on sex trafficking charges.
State Rep. Jeremy Munson, a founder of a hard-right faction that broke from the main Minnesota House GOP Caucus, has been endorsed by U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Former state Rep. Brad Finstad has the backing of several Minnesota GOP officeholders.
He has reminded voters he was Trump’s Minnesota director for USDA Rural Development.
On the Democratic side, the candidate endorsed at the party’s district convention earlier this month is former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger. His opponents include University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush.
He also sent links to Greene’s Telegram channel that contain images of the Congresswoman mingling with and embracing voters in the lead-up to her first re-election bid.
Among Strahan’s most persistent lines of attack against Greene involve accounts from constituents who claim the lawmaker does not engage with them and ignores their needs.
The businesswoman’s campaign claims Greene is already playing dirty, sharing with DailyMail.com screenshots of messages from people claiming to have seen Strahan campaign signs being ripped out of the ground.
‘Hey, I just saw a pickup driving down the street down here…They were ripping up all the Strahan signs and putting up MTG signs. I think they’re feeling threatened,’ one of the messages read.
Another message to Strahan’s campaign read: ‘I know you get millions of messages and probably will never see this but I just wanted to let you know that I’m(sp) Summerville on highway 114 I saw some crazy man tearing down your signs and throwing them into the woods.’
Greene’s critics want to see a repeat of her ally Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s stunning defeat in North Carolina last week to a Republican establishment-backed rival – but political experts do not think that will be the case.
Dr. M.V. Hood III, a professor of political science at the University of Georgia and the Director of the SPIA Survey Research Center, told DailyMail.com that Greene’s national headlines – which include her past support for QAnon theories and supporting calls for violence against Democrat leaders before she was in office – do not have the same effect on the local scale in the 14th District.
‘She does retail politics. She’s in the district, she talks to people, she does a lot of very normal – even though she appears to be somewhat extreme in some of her statements – I mean, the kind of stuff she does back in her district is very normal,’ Hood said.
He added that he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if Greene managed to sail to victory on Tuesday night past the 50-percent threshold required to avoid a runoff.
Strahan also reached out to voters across the district, seeking to separate herself from Greene as someone who will be a serious lawmaker rather than generating eye-popping headlines on a regular basis
Strahan’s campaign shared a pair of screenshots with DailyMail.com showing messages stating the businesswoman’s election signs are being ‘ripped up’
‘I find it hard to believe that, you know, Republicans would turn on her now,’ Jay Williams, a Republican strategist in Georgia, told DailyMail.com.
Williams said Greene’s voters likely are not seeing her name in the news cycle the way people who follow large national outlets like the New York Times and CNN, which he branded the ‘national echo chamber.’
‘Even if it’s true, they might not believe it, or might not care because it’s coming from CNN or some of these other outlets. So it’s going to have a hard time penetrating down to down to that regular Republican voter,’ he said.
Asked about Strahan’s chances, Williams branded the businesswoman’s campaign ‘uninspiring’ and ‘uninteresting’ – emphasizing the uphill battle to get all of Greene’s GOP critics into one faction, particularly when four other candidates are trying to do the same thing.
Still, Strahan has received backing from some high-profile Republicans. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana appeared at a fundraiser for Strahan earlier this month in a direct challenge to Greene’s re-election bid.
Whoever wins the GOP primary in Greene’s deep-red rural district is the likely favorite to win the seat in November’s midterms.
Trump may score a victory in the 14th District primary, but he’s facing much longer odds in the Peach State’s Republican gubernatorial primary race.
Statewide, Republican primary voters will have to decide whether to keep Governor Brian Kemp (left) on the ticket or boot him out in favor of Trump-backed Perdue (right)
The ex-president helped Kemp to the Governor’s Mansion in 2018 when he backed the then-Georgia Secretary of State for the role.
Since then, however, Kemp’s refusal to overturn his state’s 2020 electoral count – which helped President Joe Biden clinch the White House – has made him among Trump’s most frequent targets.
Kemp’s campaign told DailyMail.com: ‘Governor Kemp and his family are honored by the strong support they have seen from Georgians across the state these last few months. Our team is leaving everything on the field in this primary, and we look forward to uniting Republicans to stop Stacey Abrams in the fall.’
Trump’s fury inspired him to throw his weight behind Perdue, who lost his Senate re-election bid in a January 2021 runoff to current Democrat incumbent Senator Jon Ossoff.
But experts do not think Perdue’s campaign effort can hold a candle to Kemp’s current popularity.
Wallace said of the incumbent governor: ‘He’s one of the only governors that kind of stood up to everybody during the coronavirus stuff, kept the state open, kept everything moving.’
‘The economy’s really good, he’s past a lot of conservative legislation, so it’s harder for Trump to make a case that he has to go,’ the GOP strategist explained.
‘And then you couple that with a campaign that David Perdue hasn’t done a very good job running, it makes it more difficult for Trump.’
Perdue’s campaign made a splash when Trump first goaded him into tossing his hat in the ring, but it’s sputtered since then with a lack of funds and a seeming lack of activity from the candidate himself.
A Republican strategist told DailyMail.com that Kemp’s success as governor of Georgia along with ‘a campaign that David Perdue hasn’t done a very good job running’ then ‘makes it more difficult for Trump’ to succeed with his endorsement
A poll of likely GOP voters published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution taken in late April shows Perdue trailing far behind Kemp, with just 27 percent of support compared to the incumbent’s 53 percent.
If that number holds true on election night, Kemp will be able to avoid a runoff like the kind that took down Perdue last year.
‘I think Perdue is collapsing and I think Kemp will win without a runoff,’ Hood told DailyMail.com.
Trump released a statement attacking Kemp on Monday via his new social media platform Truth Social.
‘The Fake News Media is ‘betting the ranch’ on the worst Election Integrity Governor in the Country, Brian Kemp of Georgia, who handed the Dems two Senate seats and a big win in the State’s Presidential race,’ Trump raged.
‘My Endorsement numbers, as they know, are unprecedented. Kemp can’t win in General E!’
Trump’s other endorsements in Tuesday’s primary include his longtime friend Herschel Walker to challenge freshman Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock, and GOP Rep. Jody Hice’s bid to unseat Raffensperger as Secretary of State.
Trump infamously called Raffensperger in the wake of the 2020 election asking him to ‘find’ enough votes to clinch his victory in the Peach State.