ATLANTA — It’s the phone call now capturing attention nationwide.
In a recorded phone conversation, President Donald Trump is heard asking Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “recalculate” and “find” votes for him to win Georgia.
“It’s unprecedented,” said Mike Hassinger, a GOP political strategist.
Hassinger has worked in politics for two decades and never has he seen candidates air grievances to officials, especially directly and at this level.
“I’ve been a part of recounts. I’ve won and lost elections by as few as 19 votes. It happens sometimes,” he said.
With the runoff elections on Tuesday, Hassinger said the recording could have an impact on the Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler campaigns. But it could hinge on how Trump responds to this when he makes a stop in Georgia Monday night.
“He can encourage those very same voters to show up and win those senatorial runoffs by so much, and I’ll put quotes around it, so ‘they can’t cheat’,” said Hassinger.
Andra Gillespie from Emory University, however, thinks many voters have already made up their minds by this point.
“People’s preferences were already pretty hardwired and people who supported the Republican candidates are probably going to continue to do so regardless of what President Trump did,” she said.
In Savannah, Sunday, alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff had strong words for the Republican senators.
“That is a direct attack on our democracy and if David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler had one piece of steel in their spines, one shred of integrity, they would be out here defending Georgia voters from that kind of assault,” said Ossoff.
11Alive has reached out to both Senator Perdue and Senator Loeffler for their reaction and is still waiting to hear back.