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'You have to vote': Trump rallies in Georgia for GOP Senate candidates in close, critical runoff

Two elections in January will decide control of the Senate

Updated: December 6, 2020 - 3:12pm

President Trump arrived in Georgia on Saturday night to rally support for two GOP Senate incumbents facing runoff elections that will decide control of the chamber – urging followers to go to the polls on Jan. 5 to help his candidates stop the country from heading down a path toward socialism.

“We’re gathered here to ensure that David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler win the most important congressional runoff probably in American history,” Trump told the large outdoor crowd at an airport in Valdosta, in southern Georgia.

“You have to get out, you have to vote, you have to make sure you have every vote counted,” he continued. “Very simply, you will decide whether your children will grow up in a socialist country or whether they will grow up in a free country.”

Trump during the roughly two-hour-long rally moved between rallying support for his GOP candidates and continuing to press his case that he lost his reelection as a result of voter fraud. 

“They cheated and rigged our presidential election," Trump said.

Neither Perdue nor Loeffler won a majority of votes in their respective races last month, throwing the contests into runoffs. 

In the rematches, Perdue again faces Democrat John Ossoff, and Loeffler again faces Democrat Raphael Warnock, in races that polls show are again close.

“God bless you, we love you Mr. President,” said Perdue when he and Loeffler joined Trump on stage Saturday night.

As much as $300 million is projected to be spent on the two elections in TV, radio and digital advertising. 

First lady Melania Trump spoke Saturday night, before the president, urging the crowd to turn out and ensure that the GOP remains in control of the Senate in January. 

“Do not let your voices be silent," she said to cheers. "We must keep our seats in the Senate.”

Following last month's elections, the GOP has a 50-48 majority in the Senate. 

If Warnock and Ossoff each win, the next vice president – either incumbent Mike Pence or Democrat Kamala Harris – would cast tie-breaking votes.