georgia senate rivals with little time to spare sprint toward runoff

Georgia Senate Rivals, With Little Time to Spare, Sprint Toward Runoff

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Both parties are working to educate voters on the changes afoot under Georgia’s new election law. The shortened runoff period means that Georgians who were not registered to vote before Election Day will not be able to vote during the runoff.

And the law has complicated early voting in the runoff. State election officials initially said that early voting could not be held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, because of an earlier 2016 law that restricts early voting one or two days after a holiday. But Democrats, including Mr. Warnock’s campaign, sued to allow Saturday voting, and on Friday, a Fulton County judge ordered voting to be allowed on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“The organizing imperative really remains the same, honestly,” said Jonae Wartel, a Democratic strategist who led Mr. Warnock’s 2020 runoff operation. “You just have a condensed timeline.”

Still, similar patterns have emerged: A carousel of Republican senators and party leaders have again traveled to Georgia to bolster Mr. Walker’s campaign, even as they try to prevent Mr. Trump from bringing his presidential campaign to the Peach State.

Senator Rick Scott of Florida, the departing chairman of Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, appeared with Mr. Walker during the first days of the runoff campaign and explained to voters that, while control of the Senate was already decided, an extra Republican seat in the chamber would still be a boon to the party.

For Democrats, Mr. Trump’s announcement of a 2024 campaign has provided an opening to tie the former president to Mr. Walker, whom he endorsed. A television advertisement for Mr. Warnock running in the Atlanta market showed footage from Mr. Trump’s speech on Tuesday evening in which he encouraged supporters to vote for Mr. Walker. At the end of the ad, the words “Stop Donald Trump” and “Stop Herschel Walker” flash across the screen.

For the Walker campaign, Mr. Kemp is one of its most important surrogates, particularly among the moderate and conservative-leaning voters who supported the governor’s re-election but did not vote for Mr. Walker on Nov. 8. The two will campaign together in an Atlanta suburb on Saturday. Mr. Warnock, by contrast, will spend the day in the deep-red counties of Forsyth and Cherokee, which overwhelmingly voted for Mr. Kemp and Mr. Walker.