- - Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Republicans are galloping full tilt into those two Georgia Senate races on Jan. 5, fully aware of the immense stakes involved.

Not an hour flies by when Republican Party activists aren’t bombarding potential donors with news of the tightness of the contest and a frantic plea for money. The GOP is right to be so resolutely focused. Should they capture just one of the seats up for grabs, President Trump will again be king of the walk, having personally rallied his party to victory with crucial campaign appearances for the winner, one scheduled on election eve. 

Not only would the hated orange man be back in the political picture in a big way, but so would the savvy legislator the Democrats view as their second greatest enemy, Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky lawmaker would retain his position as Senate majority leader, a platform that will give him free rein to accomplish what he does best: give grief to his political adversaries. (Recall all the major McConnell-Trump triumphs in the first term.) 

Joe Biden may be sitting in the Oval Office on Jan. 20, but Mr. McConnell, should Republicans David Perdue or Kelly Loeffler win, will be able to advance conservative legislation, preserve the current president’s most popular policies and greatly diminish the economic, foreign policy and “social justice” damage that the Democrats intend to inflict. 

A Senate pick-up will also keep alive credible tales of voting irregularities and outright fraud, which the Democrats want to see disappear but the media may be forced to cover. Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, chairman of the Homeland and Government Affairs Committee, has already begun hearings on the topic and knows how to get attention.

The GOP’s path to victory is far from certain. The president’s loss to Mr. Biden in the Peach State has taken some shine off his political luster and the ferocious war among the GOP’s party leaders on ballot fixing has appeared to damage enthusiasm for the party’s candidates.

Of those not voting in the runoff, according to a SurveyUSA poll, “a disproportionate number are conservative.” Of those who identify as “very conservative,” 55% say they won’t vote in the runoff because “the voting process is rigged.” These views have also been widely reflected on talk radio by conservative callers.

The “Don’t Vote” Movement is being propelled by some of President Trump’s informal advisers, including Sidney Powell, who insists the initial vote was tossed to Joe Biden by Dominion voting machines. At a press conference before the recount, Ms. Powell charged that the Dominion machines “run an algorithm that probably ran all over the country, to take a certain percentage of votes from President Trump and flip them to President Biden.”

That’s been her mantra about the Dominion machines since mid-November, though even big-name conservatives like Tucker Carlson lament that she has never offered a speck of proof.

But the recount in Georgia was not performed by Ms. Powell’s magical machines but by hand. The hand count, as The Wall Street Journal noted, is precisely the way to have tested Ms. Powell’s claim. If you remember how Georgia’s machines work, the Journal reminded readers, voters “make their choices on a touch-screen. The system then prints a paper ballot, with a text summary showing the candidates selected, which provides the voter a chance to confirm.”

But then the WSJ underscored its most important point, unresponded to by Ms. Powell: “If software flipped Georgia’s electronic totals, there would be some big, unexplained discrepancy between those data and the paper ballots. The hand recount found nothing of the sort. Georgia also asked Pro V&V, a testing laboratory certified by the federal Election Assistance Commission, to audit a random sample of Dominion machines. No tampering was found.”

Here are some other informative tidbits from the WSJ editorial. Workers examined 5 million ballots by hand, but most of the figures barely moved from the original count. In 73% of the state’s 159 counties, the margin of the hand count varied from the original machine count “by 10 votes or fewer.” In a quarter of the counties, “the two numbers exactly matched.” There were areas where ballots had been overlooked, but the audit discovered them with the Trump tally adjusted accordingly. There’s no reason these procedures can’t be followed again in the runoff if that becomes necessary.

Republicans of all ideological stripes, including the president, are working ’round the clock for a GOP victory on Jan. 5. They view Ms. Powell’s “strategy” as suicidal and are increasingly dubious about her sensationalist but unproven claims. They say the only realistic shot the Republicans have to deal the Democrats a major blow and keep Mr. McConnell in charge of the upper chamber is to win one of the Senate seats in play.

And that requires that conservative Georgians flood the ballot boxes not boycott them. It’s also the heartfelt advice of Newt Gingrich, the man who led the GOP to a landslide victory in 1994 from his House seat in Georgia. 

• Allan H. Ryskind, a former editor and owner of Human Events, is the author of “Hollywood Traitors” (Regnery, 2015).

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