Republicans admit Georgia Senate seat 'in play' — and they're fuming over it

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The Senate Republican campaign arm called Trump ally Doug Collins' Senate bid in Georgia 'selfish' and 'shortsighted.'

The Senate Republican campaign arm is furious with Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) for launching a bid for Senate in the Peach State, saying his candidacy will imperil the GOP's hold not only on the Senate majority, but also some of Georgia's House seats and even the state's 16 Electoral College votes.

Collins — a top ally of Donald Trump — quietly made moves this week to challenge GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Loeffler was recently appointed to the seat by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, who chose her as the replacement to now former Sen. Johnny Isakson, who resigned in December due to failing health.

However, Trump wanted Collins to be appointed to the seat and his allies were frustrated that Kemp defied Trump and chose Loeffler over Collins.

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Now, the National Republican Senatorial Committee — which is tasked with preserving the GOP's Senate majority — is worried that the feud will help Democrats pick up at least one Senate seat in Georgia, putting that majority at risk.

"The shortsightedness in this decision is stunning," NRSC Executive Director Kevin McLaughlin said in a statement. "Doug Collins' selfishness will hurt David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and President Trump. Not to mention the people of Georgia who stand to bear the burden of it for years to come. All he has done is put two Senate seats, multiple House seats, and Georgia's 16 electoral votes in play."

Both of Georgia's Senate seats are up in 2020.

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) was already up for reelection to the six-year term he won in 2014. But voters will also get to choose who they want to fill out the remaining two years of Isakson's term in a special election that coincides with the regularly scheduled 2020 election.

Democrats were already targeting the seats for a pick up as the party seeks to win control of the Senate in 2020. If Democrats win the White House, the party would need to net three seats for Senate control.

And Democrats are giddy at the idea that Republican-on-Republican violence in the Georgia Senate race could open an opportunity to add a pick up to their column.

"At the start of this election cycle, Republicans believed they could take this state for granted, but not anymore," DSCC spokesperson Helen Kalla said in a statement. "This expensive, protracted brawl — already playing out on the front page — will force unelected mega-donor Senator Loeffler and Trump ally Congressman Collins into a race to the right that reveals just how out-of-touch both are with Georgia voters."