Republican pollster: ‘Next 48 hours are going to be among the worst for the GOP’
Republican pollster Frank Luntz said Tuesday that he thinks the “next 48 hours are going to be among the worst for the GOP,” amid Georgia’s runoff elections on Tuesday and Congress’s Electoral College certification vote on Wednesday.
Luntz told CNBC’s “The Squawk” that Democrats have an advantage as a “unified” party as Senate elections take place in Georgia to determine whether Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and Republican David Perdue, whose term officially ended Sunday, will return to the upper chamber.
“There is a greater divide in the Republican Party than there is in the Democratic Party,” he said. “The party is in the process of tearing itself apart and you don’t do that now, when you’re this close to the most important Senate election, literally, in a lifetime. Democrats are unified, Republicans are not, and that’s what gives them the advantage.”
“I think the next 48 hours are going to be among the worst for the GOP,” he added.
The fracturing of the Republican Party has been most visible in Washington as Congress prepares to meet to approve the Electoral College vote, the final step in President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump.
Trump has refused to concede, citing unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, and several Republicans have committed to contesting the Electoral College vote to attempt to overturn the election in the president’s favor.
Luntz pointed to Trump’s claims of voter fraud, saying they likely harmed candidates in the Georgia runoffs by discouraging GOP voters from participating in the election.
“Democrats are voting in record numbers over the last two, three weeks,” he said. “Republicans are being told to stay home and Donald Trump, when he shows up to deliver that final rallying cry, he spends as much time talking about his own election as he does about the Republicans.”
Loeffler is going up against Democratic candidate the Rev. Raphael Warnock while Perdue is facing Jon Ossoff in the two races that will determine which party controls the Senate.
If either Republican wins, the GOP will retain the majority in the upper chamber, but if both Democrats win, the Senate will be split 50-50 with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris becoming the tie-breaking vote.
Dozens of Republicans in the House and Senate have committed to contesting the Electoral College vote on Wednesday and aim to get enough support in Congress to send the matter to the mostly Republican state legislatures.
But the effort is unlikely to be successful, as Democrats control the House, and several Republican leaders and senators have spoken out against the move.