DALTON, Ga. — On Monday, President Trump traveled to rural Georgia to campaign for the state’s two incumbent Republican senators, where, a day before two runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, he continued to spread baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.
“Since the election, we have put forth indisputable evidence documenting the rampant fraud, which will be announced on Wednesday, as you know,” Trump said at Monday night’s rally in this city, known as the carpet capital of the world, in front of thousands of his supporters. “I want to thank Sen. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz and all of the incredible senators that have stepped up to fight, because they’ve seen what happens. They know it’s a fraud and not just here.”
Trump’s supporters at the rally held onto his every word, repeatedly chanting, “Stop the steal” and “U-S-A” at several moments during the evening. In interviews with Yahoo News, they explained why, despite the lack of evidence to support the president’s claims, they continue to repeat them.
“I believe [Trump] won the election by a landslide,” said Debbie Edwards, 67, of Rome, Ga. “We are here to stop the steal!”
Despite the Trump campaign’s dismal record in court challenging the election results, Dorothy Harpe from Atlanta, who attended Monday’s rally, said Trump should get a second term because the election was “rigged.”
“[Trump] has done great things for this country,” Harpe, 70, told Yahoo News, saying he brought jobs to the country and did “great things” for Black people.
“I don’t trust the election, but I already voted,” she said. “I think the voting [in November] was rigged and the election was fraud. We have enough evidence to prove that the election was rigged,” she continued, adding that election ballots in Fulton County were hidden, which is not true.
Jim Earnhardt, 76, from Canton, said there is mathematically no way Democrats could have won in Georgia.
“Democrats stole it,” Earnhardt said. “They’re not smart enough to pull it off, and the numbers don’t add up.”
Atlanta-based political strategist Fred Hicks told Yahoo News that he believes this election cycle has forced voters to “justify” their decisions.
“This election season, perhaps more than any other, has forced voters to justify to themselves and their families their decisions,” he said. “I think that is why Trump lost Georgia while Republicans in the state had a good day overall.”
Hicks added that Republicans are once again in a tough place for this Senate race, but Democrats aren’t going to win on anti-Trump rhetoric alone.
“Republicans are in what I call the Trump conundrum,” Hicks said. “They need [Trump’s] votes to have any chance at winning, yet Trump lost Georgia and is their biggest liability.”
“Democrats can get to 48 or even 49 percent by being anti-Trump, but we have to tell what we are going to do if we win and how that will reduce suffering if we want to get people — especially minorities who live outside of metro Atlanta — out to vote and get over 50 percent,” he added. “The key determinant of the outcome will be if left-leaning groups can connect the dots for voters between this election and their day-to-day lives.”
Cover thumbnail photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
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