Republicans have branded their opponents “socialists, “radical extremists” and “Marxists” ahead of US Senate elections in Georgia that will determine who controls the chamber when President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio led the charge, campaigning in suburban Atlanta alongside Senator Kelly Loeffler and warning that defeats for her and fellow Georgia Senator David Perdue would hand over US government to “radical elements”.
Ms Loeffler went so far as to assert, without supporting details, that her Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock has “a Marxist ideology”.
Ms Loeffler took no questions after the event that filled the Cobb County Republican Party headquarters with hundreds of enthusiastic voters, many of them not wearing masks as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Mr Warnock’s campaign pushed back, noting the Democrat’s policy preferences fall squarely within the US political mainstream.
Terrence Clark, a Warnock aide, said Ms Loeffler is trying to “scare Georgians” while “misrepresenting” Mr Warnock’s candidacy and obscuring her own record.
Nationally, Republicans have secured 50 Senate seats to Democrats’ 48.
Still, the Republicans need at least one of the Georgia seats to command a majority in January.
In a 50-50 Senate, Democrats would have the tie-breaking vote in vice president-elect Kamala Harris.
Mr Perdue’s opponent is Jon Ossoff.
Voting takes place on January 5.