GOP senator warned Democrats could flip Georgia

GOP senator warned Democrats could flip Georgia
© Bonnie Cash

Georgia Sen. David Perdue (R) warned this week that his home state could be in play in November as it emerges as a top presidential and Senate battleground.

"Here's the reality: The state of Georgia is in play," Perdue said Monday, according to audio of a call with the group Women for Trump obtained by CNN. "The Democrats have made it that way."

Perdue's remarks were confirmed to The Hill by a Perdue campaign official, who said the comments were consistent with what Perdue has said in the past regarding Georgia's competitiveness.

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"Like all campaigns across the country, we're making adjustments to ensure Senator Perdue is reaching Georgians while we practice social distancing to help keep folks safe during the COVID-19 crisis. From day one, our campaign has known that this will be a competitive race. With his strong record of proven results in the U.S. Senate, we are confident that Georgia voters will re-elect David Perdue this November," a Perdue campaign spokesperson said.

The stark warning from Perdue, a confidant of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' Marie Yovanovitch on Vindman retirement: He 'deserved better than this. Our country deserved better than this' Trump says Biden has been 'brainwashed': 'He's been taken over by the radical left' MORE, underscores the battle Republicans are facing as the work to hold their majority in the Senate.

Congress’s upper chamber is viewed as increasingly in play as Republicans defend their 53-47 majority against a slew of well-funded Democratic contenders who are launching challenges in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, Iowa and elsewhere in the midst of widespread uncertainty fueled by a historic pandemic.

The Senate battleground map has expanded in recent weeks to include typically conservative states like Georgia, Kansas and Montana, forcing the GOP to allocate resources to races that would normally be considered safe for Republicans. 

Georgia is home to two Senate races that are considered relatively competitive. Perdue is running for reelection against several Democrats still competing in a primary, while a "jungle" primary has exposed bitter divisions within the GOP in the race to complete the term of former Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonLoeffler doubles down against BLM, calls movement 'anti-Semitic' amid continued WNBA blowback Democrats awash with cash in battle for Senate Sen. Loeffler opposes WNBA Black Lives Matter plan MORE (R).

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Democrats are eager to make gains in both Senate races as well as the presidential race, pointing to shifting demographics and enthusiasm among the party’s base sparked by Stacey Abrams’s unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2018.

"We have had our wake-up call in Georgia," Perdue said on this week's call, adding that he needs to win "twice the number of votes" that he did in 2014 to win reelection.

"The demographic moves against us. But we can still win this if we get out and make sure that all of our voters vote. That's what this comes down to."

-- Updated at 12:32 p.m.