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Georgia's race to the right prompts GOP fears over holding Senate majority

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

She's cut an ad saying she's "more conservative than Attila the Hun." She's lashed out at the WNBA for its ties to Black Lives Matter. And she frequently promotes herself as having a "100 percent Trump voting record."

And this week, Sen. Kelly Loeffler took her move to the right to a new level: Touting the endorsement of a controversial House candidate from Georgia who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy and had been denounced by other Republicans before winning the GOP nomination in her race for making bigoted and racist comments.

Loeffler, an appointed senator and one of the richest in Congress, has been in a race to the right with GOP Rep. Doug Collins, an intraparty battle that has prompted deep Republican concerns that it could splinter the vote and help Democrats sweep Georgia and take the Senate majority.

But Collins, who lobbied for the Senate appointment that Gov. Brian Kemp gave to Loeffler, entered the race earlier this year over the furious opposition of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Since it's unlikely that any candidate will reach the 50 percent threshold, both Collins and Loeffler have been competing intensely to make the runoff by wooing Republican voters and appealing to the conservative base, which represents a slice of the state's 6. 9 million registered voters.

What's also concerning Republicans: The other Georgia Senate seat, currently occupied by GOP Sen. David Perdue, who is now in a deadheat against Jon Ossoff, a Democrat who announced he'd raised $21. 3 million in the past quarter, the largest quarterly haul for any Senate candidate in the state's history.

Republicans privately fret that the bitter Collins-Loeffler fight is dividing the party during the campaign's most critical juncture and now threatening both Senate seats, a scenario some senior Republicans warned could happen months ago when Collins entered the race.

But now, the Republican candidates are spending the last days of the Senate race as if they were running in a primary, trying to appeal to the hardcore members of their party -- like Greene.

A Georgia Republican strategist, who is not affiliated with either campaign, said that Loeffler's endorsement event with Greene was "nothing short of a Hail Mary. "

When asked if he was concerned that Loeffler's pitch to conservative voters would turn off independents, and potentially hurt the senator in a runoff race, Loeffler spokesman Stephen Lawson told CNN that the GOP senator would be able to paint Warnock as outside of the mainstream.

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