The right-leaning Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has warned that the loss of two Republican-held senate seats in Georgia – two races that will determine the power balance in Congress – would cost Donald Trump his legacy, as he continues to mount a specious legal battle to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“If Republicans lose those seats, President Trump will be the main reason, and the main casualty will be his legacy,” the editorial board wrote on 3 December.
The newspaper’s editorial board criticised the president’s baseless attempts to undermine election results and warned that his attacks on other members of the GOP who have condemned his remarks and spurious lawsuits are “causing a split in the party” benefitting Democrats.
The editorial from the flagship legacy publication from Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp follows the president’s public falling out with Fox News, another NewsCorp property, as its pundits signal that the end of the Trump White House is imminent. The president has instead embraced the right-wing cable news networks One American News and Newsmax, as he welcomes their deference and amplifies their false election fraud claims in his final weeks in office.
The outcome of two highly scrutinised Senate runoff races in Georgia – Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock facing Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively – will determine whether Democrats have a grip on both chambers of Congress along with the White House.
Mr Trump has endorsed the Republicans while attacking the state’s Republican governor Brian Kemp and secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, who the president called “an enemy of the people" for refusing to overturn the results despite a hand recount.
In an urgent statement on Tuesday, the state’s voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling demanded that the president stop his attacks, which inspired violent threats against election workers and officials
“It has to stop,” he said. “Someone's going to get hurt, someone's going to get shot, someone's going to get killed.”
The Wall Street Journal wrote that the president is “already sounding like he wants to run again in 2024, and his stolen-election claims sound like an opening bid for campaign donations.”
“At least for now he can say, with justification, that he helped the GOP gain seats in the House and avoid a rout in the Senate,” the board continued. “But that narrative changes for the worse if the GOP loses in Georgia after Mr Trump divided his own party to serve his personal political interest.”
The newspaper’s editorial board stressed that the president, with broad party support on the line to make a successful 2024 run, needs a GOP-controlled Senate as much as its current majority leader Mitch McConnell does.
Watch: Trump hoping to give Georgia Republicans a boost with weekend visit