Republican insiders in Georgia are warning after a balloting meltdown in Fulton County that Democrats could wield voting rights like a cudgel, galvanizing turnout this fall to defeat President Trump in the traditionally red state.
Georgia Republicans blame problems that plagued Georgia’s primary on Democratic officials running Fulton County, a diverse enclave in metro Atlanta with a population that is nearly 44% black.
But Republicans worry they are arguing in vain. Democratic turnout among white and black voters was high in this week’s elections, even in predominantly GOP precincts. They fear it could reach historic levels in November if Democrats manage to demonize Republicans as actively suppressing minorities from voting.
In a state trending competitive, that could cost Trump Georgia’s critical 16 votes in the Electoral College against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. A sunbelt loss would jeopardize his reelection.
“It scares me to death. I’ve gotten very little sleep,” a veteran Republican strategist in Georgia said following the primary. “They’re going to fire up an already fired-up base, and that concerns me for November.”