While some might argue that 2016 Trump voters didn’t seem to care about his self-dealings, Democrats didn’t need to convert those 2016 voters, they just needed to stop Trump from growing his base. A four-year long focus on doggedly pursuing Trump’s many scandals and flagrant corruption would have made it harder for Trump to win over new supporters, and could have convinced infrequent, Republican-leaning voters that they might as well stay home. If Trump had only gotten the same number of votes he did in 2016, Biden would have easily won Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. Instead, Trump’s approval rating barely moved during his presidency, and he increased his popular vote total by 11 million. That increased Republican turnout was also the primary difference between the Democratic wave in the 2018 midterms and the Democrats’ anemic House and Senate results this year.
This is what makes the Georgia runoff elections a perfect test case. Now, Democrats are running the corruption-focused campaign they didn’t run against Trump, heavily highlighting Republican senators’ well-timed stock trades after receiving nonpublic information. Over one week in early December, Ossoff tweeted 14 times about Republican Sen. David Perdue’s “corruption” and questionable stock trades. Similarly, 10 of Warnock’s tweets were about Loeffler “personally profiting off the pandemic” after getting a secret briefing on COVID-19. This message is also featured heavily in the ads currently saturating the state.