President Donald Trump is set to headline a fundraiser in Atlanta next month to bolster Republican efforts to fortify their hold on Georgia amid increasing Democratic efforts to flip the state.
There’s also discussion of Trump appearing at an event designed to energize black Republican voters during his visit Nov. 8. Such plans haven’t been finalized.
Trump won Georgia by 5 points in 2016 even though both campaigns spent little time or money here. The margin of victory was narrow by recent standards – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the state by nearly 8 points in 2012.
Democrats, buoyed by big gains in metro Atlanta during the 2018 midterms, are eager to cement Georgia as a battleground state in 2020.
U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath won a U.S. House seat straddling Atlanta’s northern suburbs, and Stacey Abrams came within 1.5 percentage points of a victory over Republican Brian Kemp in last year’s race for governor. Down the ticket, Democrats flipped about a dozen state legislative seats.
Both parties are bracing for a surge of attention with two U.S. Senate races, two competitive U.S. House contests and a presidential election on the 2020 ballot.
State Democrats are demanding that national operatives invest more time and money in Georgia rather than focusing on Rust Belt bastions. And top Republicans warn that last year’s tight races were a blaring “wake-up call.”
Trump’s visit to Georgia will be his first since a trip to Atlanta in April, when he said his administration would “smash the grip of addiction” at an opioid summit.
It will come less than two weeks before the leading Democratic presidential contenders gather in Georgia for a televised showdown. The Nov. 20 event will be the first time the state has hosted a premier political debate since 1992.
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