While that strategy appears to have given Democrats an early edge, it remains to be seen if it will be enough to counter a surge of Republican voters who are probably waiting until election day to turn up at the polls, as has traditionally been the case.
“Democrats have shown up for the early vote, and the overt emphasis on Black voters has seemingly paid off,” Brian Robinson, a Republican strategist based in Georgia, said in a text message on Wednesday. “Republicans, though, still have a lot of votes out there they can get, particularly in northwest Georgia, where Trump is going Monday. The G.O.P. candidates will win handily among election day voters, so the bigger the turnout on Tuesday, the better the Republican chances.”
But Republicans had similar hopes for Mr. Trump in the general election, in which he fell short by about 12,000 votes in Georgia. And it is unclear whether Mr. Trump, in his visit to Dalton, will end up motivating his followers or causing more headaches for Republicans.
Mr. Trump’s tweet calling for Mr. Kemp to resign was already commanding some of the political spotlight on Wednesday. At a hastily convened news conference, Mr. Kemp did not address Mr. Trump’s comments directly, saying he would not be “distracted” from his goal of electing Mr. Perdue and Ms. Loeffler. The governor also said he was too focused on responding to the coronavirus pandemic to become involved in political infighting.
“That horse has left the barn in Georgia,” Mr. Kemp said of Mr. Biden’s victory in Georgia — dismissing Mr. Trump’s false claims that the state’s election was tainted by fraud.
How the jockeying plays out will not only affect the balance of power in Washington but also offer the first hints at how both parties navigate the post-Trump political future. Mr. Trump has proved to be a unique motivator of the Republican base, and the party is yet to find a figure who is equally adept at maximizing turnout among white conservatives.
Democrats are eager to prove that Mr. Biden’s success in November was not a fluke, and that voters want a robust liberal agenda rather than the Republican-led obstructionism that defined Mr. Obama’s administration.