Trump’s role in the losses is a hotly debated topic. He told Kelly Loeffler before he landed in Georgia for a final rally on Monday that if she didn’t back the Electoral College challenges, he would “do a number on her” from the stage, according to a source familiar with the events.
The president’s refusal to concede also undermined the GOP’s argument that they needed to keep the Senate to put a check on Joe Biden and the Democrats. Instead, enough voters apparently decided that Trump and Republicans were the ones who needed to be hemmed in.
One GOP pollster involved in the races told me that Loeffler was narrowly ahead 72 hours before Election Day. But the release of Trump’s call to pressure the Georgia elections chief, combined with the flood of Republican senators who followed Hawley in vowing to challenge Biden’s win, changed everything. “When you’re in a really close race the imagery of the last 48 hours makes a difference because you don’t have to move that many voters,” the pollster said.