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Obama to stump for Democrats in Georgia Senate runoffs

Obama to stump for Democrats in Georgia Senate runoffs
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Former President Obama will campaign in Georgia on Friday to boost the two Democratic candidates in the Peach State’s crucial Senate runoffs.

Obama will stump with Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock in Atlanta and will be joined by Stacey Abrams and Rep.-elect Nikema Williams, who is also the state's Democratic Party chair, for a rally and discussion with volunteers. The rally comes days before the Dec. 7 voter registration deadline in Georgia and the start of early voting on Dec. 14.

The appearance by Obama, who after four years out of power remains one of his party’s most popular figures, underscores the Democrats’ full-court press to flip the Peach State’s two Senate seats. The runoffs are pitting Ossoff against Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Georgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' MORE (R) and Warnock against Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Herschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock MORE (R).

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"With Early Voting starting December 14, Friday's event with President Obama, Reverend Warnock, and Stacey Abrams will inspire this historic statewide movement to generate record-shattering turnout so we can end this COVID crisis, deliver affordable health care for all Georgians, and pass a new Civil Rights Act,” Ossoff said in a statement announcing the rally. 

“We need leaders in Washington who will commit to putting the people first. Health care is on the ballot, relief for those impacted by the coronavirus is on the ballot, voting rights are on the ballot, and that is why we need every Georgian to get engaged and help turn out the vote,” added Warnock. 

The races will ultimately decide which party controls the Senate. Should Democrats win both contests, the party would hold the upper chamber by a 50-50 margin with Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe U.S. and Mexico must revamp institutions supporting their joint efforts Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation Watch live: Harris delivers remarks on vaccination efforts MORE having the ability to cast tie-breaking votes.

Obama’s rally in Atlanta comes a day before President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE’s scheduled event in Valdosta, Ga., with Perdue and Loeffler on Saturday. 

The president’s appearance this weekend comes as he rails against Georgia officials for not doing enough to address his evidence-challenged claims of voter fraud, sparking GOP concerns that some Republican voters will boycott the runoffs if they are convinced the elections are rigged.