Like Mr. Kemp, Mr. Raffensperger is in a precarious position; even as he refuses to take steps to override the will of Georgia voters, he is also seeking to convince Republicans that he will be aggressive in ferreting out claims of liberal fraud.
“There are those who are exploiting the emotions of many Trump supporters with fantastic claims,” he said at a news conference on Monday morning. “Half-truths, misinformation, and frankly, they’re misleading the president as well, apparently.”
He also announced that his office was beginning investigations into four get-out-the-vote groups, including the New Georgia Project, which was founded by Stacey Abrams, Mr. Kemp’s 2018 rival in the governor’s race and the de facto leader of the Georgia Democrats. Mr. Raffensperger said that the groups were “working to register people in other states to vote here in Georgia.”
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker from Georgia and a Trump supporter, said that the dissatisfaction with Mr. Kemp and Mr. Raffensperger was so widespread among Republican activists that he anticipated primary challenges against both men two years from now.
“I’ve had very close friends write me and say, ‘I have a Republican governor and secretary of state, and they’re both useless, so why do I stay involved?’” Mr. Gingrich said. “But I think they’ll take pretty active measures to get people to turn out based on the long-term historical importance of these two seats.”
Some Republicans are striving to persuade Trump supporters to again engage with that very system the president is denigrating. Surrogates, including Vice President Mike Pence, have already campaigned in Georgia. Other Trump allies are forming a super PAC that will broadcast ads featuring Donald Trump Jr., a popular figure in right-wing circles, urging their supporters to vote in the runoff elections.
So far, the president himself has spent little time focused on the Senate races, and instead has been far more focused on his desire for a recount of his own loss. But advisers have stressed to him that a Republican Senate is important, and as Mr. Pence was also traveling to Georgia on Saturday, Mr. Trump agreed to go as well.