Outgoing US President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden held competing rallies ahead of the Senate runoff in the southern state of Georgia, which is being fiercely contested.
The Senate runoff in Georgia on Tuesday, 5 January, pits incumbent Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue against Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The last vote for Georgia's two Senate seats, held in November 2020, was too close to call.
"This is it. It's a new year, and tomorrow can be a new day for Atlanta, for Georgia and for America,'' Biden said at a rally in the state's capital Atlanta, reports AFP.
"Unlike any time in my career, one state can chart the course, not just for the four years but for the next generation," he added, saying that a Democratic majority will be important in order to pass legislation.
Georgia, once a Republican bastion, turned out to be a decisive state in the US Presidential elections of 2020, which Biden won by a narrow margin of 12,000 votes.
If the Democrats win the state's two Senate seats, it would split the chamber 50-50, giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, a Democrat, the tie breaking vote while passing legislation.
Following Biden's Atlanta rally, Trump held a rally at the northern Georgia town of Dalton.
While reiterating that the 2020 elections were "rigged" and that he'd actually "won Georgia," Trump called the Senate vote "one of the most important elections in US history."
"The Democrats are trying to steal the White House, you cannot let them," the president said. "You just can't let them steal the US Senate, you can't let it happen.”
“The stakes in this election could not be higher,” he added.
Trump's appearance in Georgia comes a day after a bombshell recording was released in which Trump asks Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" him nearly 12,000 votes in order to overturn Biden's victory, which Trump claims was fraudulent despite hand recounts and failed legal appeals.
(With inputs from AFP)
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