Georgia is a historically Republican state, but this year’s election is calling its loyalty to the party into question, two state lawmakers said Thursday.
Although Hillary Clinton has not visited the so-called battleground state since February, Democratic state Rep. Stacey Abrams said that hefty contributions from both the candidate and Democratic super PACs have kept the battle for the state contentious.
Abrams, the Georgia General Assembly House minority leader, said that the Clinton campaign’s fieldwork is also contributing to the larger effort to raise both Democratic support and general enthusiasm for this election.
“Democrats in Georgia are excited about the opportunity and we’re working hard,” Abrams told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Abrams said as rigorous groundwork and competitive state House and Senate races continue in the state, one key factor to the possible gain for Democrats in Georgia has been the divisive rhetoric in this presidential race.
“Donald Trump has spent the entire campaign disparaging every major constituency in Georgia,” she said. “Hillary Clinton, by contrast, has spent her entire life serving the people of Georgia.”
The state representative added that all of these factors, combined with the Clinton campaign’s presence in Georgia, “signals that Georgia really is in play and that we have an opportunity to win.”
Georgia Republicans, however, are not so sure about the state’s support swinging to Democrats.
“We’ve had four terms of Republican governors here. There are 10 of 14 congressional districts here that are Republican. Every constitutional office in this state is Republican. We have two Republican senators,” said Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue.
Perdue told “Squawk Box” that he did not believe polls showing support for Clinton just 3.3 percentage points behind support for her Republican opponent.
“There’s no evidence that this state is a battleground state,” he said Thursday.
And, although Georgia felt the impact of certain controversies in the race that swung national as well as state polls, he said that the people will nevertheless support what they care about.
“People in Georgia are focused on the debt, the economy, and jobs, which is pretty much what Trump is trying to talk about,” Perdue said
The senator added that he personally supports the Republican candidate because he is looking for a change to the federal status quo.
Perdue said he was disturbed by Wednesday’s report in USA Today that over half of American voters predict violent outbreaks on Election Day, and that about 40 percent of Trump supporters will not support the outcome of the election if he loses.
“This is our democracy. … The peaceful transfer of power is what this is all about,” Perdue said. “I really believe, at the end of the day, Republicans are going to support the outcome of this race. Quite frankly, I don’t think this race is done yet.”