On Tuesday Georgia will vote to choose its two U.S. senators in a runoff election that will ultimately decide which party will control the senate.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post on Sunday, reported on a phone call in which President Donald Trump tried — without success — to pressure Georgia's secretary of state Brad Raffensperger to reverse Joe Biden's victory.
LA Times National Political Reporter, Janet Hook, joined us from Washington.
Questions are being raised on whether the phone call will actually make a difference in the Georgia senate race.
"Well, it was quite the bombshell. It was fully recorded and released for everyone to listen for themselves, and it was an incredible news story. I would say its biggest impact on the senate race is to completely distract from the candidates and the issues at stake in the election itself," said Hook.
The polls for the Georgia senate runoffs have determined that the race is really close.
"Most people involved in politics there are feeling that it is very competitive. It is true, though, that because so many of the polls in the 2020 national and senator elections were off, people have a hard time putting a lot of confidence in what they predict. Now, since they are predicting that it is close, it is a cliffhanger, as one Republican said to me," added Hook.
There has been a lot of money—particularly from California—pouring into Georgia. Questions are also being raised on whether the money and attention will make a difference in the campaign.
"More money has been spent on ads in this just two-month election than the Trump campaign spent in the entire 2020 election. So, I do think that it's a reflection of what a national campaign this is. To a certain extent, the candidates have to keep the national attention at a distance, typically. But in this case, I think candidates in both of the races are emphasizing the national states, which is that this will determine which party controls the Senate," said Hook.
Recently, Republican senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue chose not to return to Washington to vote on the override of President Trump's veto of the defense spending bill. It is an existential threat for a lot of Republican candidates if they cross the President.
Now questions are being raised on the kind of power Trump may have, even when he retires.
"I think that leverage over senators and House members will diminish when he is not in the White House. For one thing, he doesn't have the veto threat—he doesn't have the power to veto things. But it does show that if he maintains his way and continues to demand personal loyalty, it is clear that he does have the power to put Republicans in a tough spot, pitting their constituents' interests against their loyalty to him," added Hook.