For The Record

Georgia still on president’s mind with Sunday rally in Rome planned

By: - October 29, 2020 2:26 pm

President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Rome Sunday to motivate voters in a conservative corner of Georgia. Last month the president headlined a “Black Voices for Trump” rally north of Atlanta. Ross Williams/Georgia Recorder

President Donald Trump is scheduled to stop in Rome Sunday as he rallies his supporters to the polls Tuesday, yet more evidence Georgia has joined the ranks of critical battleground states.

Trump’s visit to northwest Georgia is set to take place several days after Democratic nominee Joe Biden campaigned in Atlanta and Warm Springs.

Trump’s campaign had not announced the Rome event’s location and other details as of early Thursday afternoon, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported

Rome is the biggest city in Floyd County, a Republican stronghold where Trump earned 70% of the vote in 2016. Trump won Georgia with 51% of the vote against Hillary Clinton’s 45%.

Polls show Biden and Trump neck-in-neck in their push to secure the state’s 16 electoral votes.  

Biden is trying to become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Georgia since former President Bill Clinton narrowly edged former president George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Trump is a frequent Georgia visitor of late, stopping by several times since March and launching his Black Voices for Trump campaign in Atlanta last fall. In September, he unveiled his Black economic empowerment plan in metro Atlanta and on Oct. 16, thousands of Trump supporters flocked to a rally at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Macon. 

Trump’s planned visit on Sunday drew criticism from Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman and state Sen. Nikema Williams, who blamed the president for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic that’s now claimed the lives of 7,876 Georgians.

“This last ditch effort by Donald Trump to salvage his sinking campaign isn’t fooling anyone. Georgians have endured devastation and chaos because of Trump’s ineffective leadership, and more broken promises two days before Election Day can’t change that,” Williams said. 

The visits by the president and Biden underscores the political stakes in closely contested U.S. Senate races.

During his Georgia trip Tuesday, Biden promoted the campaigns of two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, over GOP incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Polling this week suggests both races might not be decided until a January runoff.

Trump and Biden’ family members have also recently courted voters in Georgia. 

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, hosted an event with Perdue in Acworth on Oct. 13, and Biden’s wife Jill stopped in Columbus and metro Atlanta several days prior. 

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Stanley Dunlap
Stanley Dunlap

Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. The Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors named Stanley a finalist for best deadline reporting. The Tennessee Press Association honored him for his reporting on the disappearance of Holly Bobo.