(WATCH) Georgia Politics

Nowhere is controversy over the 2020 election hotter than in Georgia. Multiple voting irregularities stoked accusations from Trump’s side that the election was stolen. Democrat prosecutors are pursuing criminal charges accusing Trump of illegally trying to overturn the results.

Today, national polls show Trump is far and away the Republican frontrunner. Now the Republican Party in Georgia is trying to present a united front heading into 2024. Scott Thuman reports from Atlanta.

The following is a transcript of a report from “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.” Watch the video by clicking the link at the end of the page.

At the next election, this southern state — until recently a Republican stronghold — could determine the entire country’s direction.

Josh McKoon: Our path to the White House runs through Georgia. A Republican, to get elected president, Georgia is a must-win state. You look at the map — Republicans can’t get to 270 without Georgia.

Josh McKoon has one of the tougher jobs in politics. As the new chairman of the Georgia GOP, he’s trying to move his state more firmly into Republican hands.

When Joe Biden won here in 2020, he became the first Democrat presidential candidate to do so in 28 years. And the left didn’t just carry the White House; two first-time politicians, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock — both Democrats — beat two incumbent Republicans in the U.S. Senate in a rare double runoff.

Scott: There are a lot of headlines about whether or not Georgia is up for grabs these days. For some Democrats, who are going to smell blood in the water, and they think this is an opportunity for them down here.

Mckoon: Well, I’m very bullish on Republican chances in 2024. We are a center-right state. 2020 was an unusual election for a variety of reasons, but I’m very bullish looking ahead to next year.

2020 left deep divisions among Republicans here. Biden won by less than 12,000 votes, a razor-thin margin of just 0.2%.

And Trump’s campaign pointed to scores of irregularities. Most turned out to be false, but a handful were real. There were tabulation errors originally favoring Biden. And counting was paused because of a pipe break, only to be quickly resumed after Republican election observers left the room.

But the state’s Republican governor and secretary of state who ran the election repeatedly defended its integrity against Trump’s attacks.

McKoon: I don’t see Georgia as having an identity crisis. I see 2020 as an aberration. And you look at 2022; we added a member to our Republican congressional delegation. We kept every statewide constitutional office.

Scott: What about the biggest x-factor, perhaps in all of this, being former President Trump. Does he help you or hurt you these days?

McKoon: Look, I think there are a lot of people that I’ve seen get involved in the Georgia Republican Party because of their excitement around the Trump administration, the president’s policies, the America First agenda. And I think that the key in the general election is while keeping our base motivated and out to the polls, that we do keep a focus on the Biden administration’s failures and how a Republican president, whoever that is, is going to put America in a position to lead the world again.

Though Atlanta’s suburbs have become less Republican, the Democrats face challenges here too. Case in point: State Representative Mesha Mainor, elected on the Democrats’ ticket three years ago.

Scott: You’ve been in the news quite a bit lately.

Mesha Mainor: Yes.

She recently made the bold move to switch to the Republican Party.

What is it about the Democratic Party that you think has changed so dramatically that it just was no longer home for you?

Mainor: Think about what the Democrats are promoting. Right now, they are promoting, we need to get this antisemitism law passed. I am supporting all ethnic and religious groups, but that is their priority. The other priority — transgender rights. I support everybody, but that is their priority. They’re supporting the prosecutors’ systems. I support families and people over systems.

Mainor says her focus now, as a Republican, will remain education.

McKoon: One of the things I’m most proud of in this short tenure I’ve had as Republican Party chairman is to convince Representative Mesha Mainor to switch parties and become the first black female Republican in the history of the Georgia General Assembly.

While McKoon sees Mainor’s switch as a win for the party, it is contrasted by some looming concerns. Nineteen defendants in Trump’s circle, headlined by Trump himself, were indicted in August for allegedly scheming to overturn his 2020 loss there. McKoon admits his party is spending an inordinate amount of time, energy, and money to defend members fighting to now stay out of jail.

He hopes that 2020 was the party’s low point in the Peach State, reminding Republicans to stick to core conservative issues, like the economy.

McKoon: I would just ask people to ask themselves, between 2017, 2021, how was the economy doing? What was your, you know, personal feeling of public safety like? It’s the age-old question. Do you feel better off today than you did before Joe Biden was elected? Everyone I ask that question to, it’s a resounding answer; the answer is no.

But aware the days when an R next to the name on the ballot would guarantee a Republican win are long gone.

For Full Measure, I’m Scott Thuman in Georgia.

Watch story here.

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5 thoughts on “(WATCH) Georgia Politics”

  1. “But the state’s Republican governor and secretary of state who ran the election repeatedly defended its integrity against Trump’s attacks.”

    LOL — Georgia’s “republican” governor and secretary of state are RAGING RINOS who are more interested in keeping the party under RINO control than they are interested in winning national elections. That’s a simple fact. To professional republicans, loss of control over their own party is far more devastating than loss of an election.

    I would have hoped we’d have gotten beyond all the pretending by now. For far too many in the “republican” party, control of the party is more important than control of the country, because it’s control of the party that gets them MONEY, and for them MONEY is the real prize.

  2. “But the state’s Republican governor and secretary of state who ran the election repeatedly defended its integrity against Trump’s attacks.”
    And their position is very befuddling to us Georgia voters. It may be true for local communities, but Georgia’s large urban centers (ie: Fulton County) have had problems with integrity for at least 25 years, and it’s only gotten worse. The SOS recounted ballots, both valid and invalid, which of course came out almost the same…without a thought to removing the invalid ballots. Strange!!!

  3. Our Constitution was designed so that the voter was directly represented . The representative was intended to be close to their constituents and to bring their desires into play in the selection of candidates for Federal office. That process was handed over to political parties by politicians who could then escape the heat for bad decisions. Now we have political warfare constantly and candidates owe allegiance to the party, not the citizen. All decisions are now made with an eye towards what’s good for the party . The citizen’s participation is limited to rubber-stamping the party’s choices . The people have to take back ownership and get these parties under control. I find it hard to believe that there is that big of a discrepancy among the average Americans as there is among Republican party members fighting among themselves. It’s party loyalty vs Constitutional loyalty and it has to be controlled. The democrat party, on the other hand , is united under communism. The DSA , with Pelosi and Sanders help has turned that party into the socialist democrat party, full on, as bomber Bill Ayers would say, “little c communist”.

  4. Georgio was the only state in the union to replace all their voting machines with Dominion machines prior to the 2020 election. This per Dominion’s own website in the fall of 2020. They had a map of the US showing the precincts their machines were used in.

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