Trump Loses Big in Georgia, Again

Two incumbents roared to victory despite his opposition.

Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both Republicans who refused to go along with the Big Lie and help steal their state’s electoral votes for Donald Trump, easily won their primaries yesterday despite the former President’s active opposition.

POLITICO:

Gov. Brian Kemp clinched his GOP primary early Tuesday night despite facing a Donald Trump-endorsed challenger — a major win for the GOP governor ahead of what’s expected to be a hard-fought general election campaign, and part of a broader rebuke in Georgia for Trump, whose pick for secretary of state also fell to the incumbent Republican.

Kemp defeated Trump-endorsed David Perdue, who was recruited into the race by Trump. The former president has attacked Kemp repeatedly since the 2020 election, when Kemp refused Trump’s pressure to not certify the election after President Joe Biden narrowly won the state.

Kemp will face Democrat Stacey Abrams in a general election rematch of their 2018 contest, after Abrams won her party’s nomination unopposed.

And Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger successfully resisted Trump’s efforts to install a follower in the office that runs Georgia’s elections, winning renomination despite the former president’s efforts. Raffensperger had 52 percent support with more than 90 percent of the expected vote counted — just above the threshold to win the primary outright without a runoff.

[…]

Trump’s involvement in Georgia wasn’t just limited to the governor’s race. He endorsed a slate of statewide candidates — including Herschel Walker, who won the GOP nomination to face Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in November.

Raffensperger, though, defeated a Trump-backed primary challenger for secretary of state in GOP Rep. Jody Hice. The race is one of the highest profile contests in which a Trump-backed election denier is trying to take the reins of a state’s election infrastructure. State Rep. Bee Nguyen is the leader on the Democratic side, though she is below the threshold to avoid a runoff.

Trump has also endorsed candidates for attorney general and lieutenant governor, but state Attorney General Chris Carr won comfortably anyway.

I’m not sufficiently steeped in Georgia politics to know what this means, exactly, but it’s at least mildly encouraging. That football star Herschel Walker, who was backed by Trump and shares some of his worst qualities, including a penchant for dishonesty and maltreatment of women, also won tells me not to read too much into it.

As to November, the polling is pretty scant at this point. Despite the recent sweep of the Peach State, with Biden taking the state’s electors and Democrats winning both Senate runoffs, the Kemp is slightly favored over Abrams in their rematch and Walker holds a tiny lead over Warnock. The FiveThirtyEight gang says these early polls tend to be quite predictive of final outcomes but, again, the margins are sufficiently slim that I wouldn’t have great confidence in them holding up.

Georgia is still a Republican state and, with the economy in rough shape at the moment, I’d lean toward predicting a Republican sweep in the key statewide races.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Sadly, Marjorie Taylor Greene won her primary.

    One amusing fact: Some of the MAGAs so blindly follow Trump’s lead that they supported Jody Hice without realizing she was actually a he.

  2. Hal_10000 says:

    One key thing about Georgia: it has an open primary. So Democrats could cross lines to vote for Kemp and Raffensberger. If we had open primaries in Pennsylvania, there’s a chance the GOP would not be running a lunatic for governor.

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  3. Jay L Gischer says:

    The US economy added 450,000 jobs in April. Most Democrats do not think the economy is in rough shape. Just sayin’.

    The round of inflation most likely will be collared by the Fed. And we will stabilize with higher interest rates, which is probably a better place than near zero, because it gives the Fed room to cut rates in recessions. Meanwhile a spurt of inflation is good for everybody who has a mortgage on their house. The stock market is having a correction but it was overbought.

    There are two sides to this coin.

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  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    The economy isn’t in rough shape, but inflation is high. Though that needs to be tempered with the fact that world wide inflation is high, so it isn’t just an American problem.

    For all the talk of TFG’s control, influence in the R party, his approved candidates are only garnering +/- 30% of the R primary vote. It’s not that TFG is a kingmaker in the party, but that Trumpism is now the parties unifying ideology.

  5. Walker won almost certainly due to his celebrity status in the state, more than Trump’s endorsement (although I am sure that helped).

    How anyone can look at his history and, moreover, listen to him attempt to talk about the issues and vote for him, well, is an illustration that it isn’t all about policy.

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  6. Scott says:

    Raffensperger may be conservative but he seems to be an honest one. I hope the lesson he takes is that Trumpism is a loser ideology.

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  7. Kylopod says:

    Kemp is the type of Republican Trump wishes he was: one who successfully stole an election.

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  8. DK says:

    Savannah-born, DeKalb County raised here. Just spent four days at home on my way back from Europe/Berlin. I expect Kemp to defeat Abrams, but I would be very, very surprised if Walker defeats Warnock after Dem Super PAC’s finish stripping the bark off Walker. Walker’s baggage is being talked about and Warnock is very popular down there. Polls and the pundits were surprised by Ossoff’s and Warnock’s Jan 5 victories, I was not.

    Georgia voters are more independent that the national punditry understands, and Perdue is just a terrible candidate. Not even a Trump endorsement can overcome that. So I also would not read too much into this, but that’s what the media does. I mean, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders did just fine, no?

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  9. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: If Walker is a product of celebrity culture, why are there still celebrities today? Think about it.

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  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: Undaunted by this good news, I’m still confident that both Raffensberger and Kemp will find perfectly legal, reasonable, and honorable ways to deter Abrams’ supporters from being able to exercise their franchise.

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  11. Moosebreath says:

    @Hal_10000:

    “If we had open primaries in Pennsylvania, there’s a chance the GOP would not be running a lunatic for governor.”

    While there likely would have been lots of Democrats voting in the Republican primary, since Shapiro was unopposed on the Democratic side, which of the Republican candidates would you describe as not a lunatic? The second-place finisher whose last campaign slogan was “I was Trump before Trump was Trump” (Barletta)? The third-place finisher who tried to find proof that Democrats cheated in 2020, and even though he couldn’t find any, still claims they did (McSwain)? The fourth-place finisher who believes there’s no such thing as a non-evil tax (White)? The also-ran who has been cited for illegally blocking his constituents on Facebook if they disagree with him, including several of my friends and neighbors (Gale)?

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  12. DK says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If we had open primaries in Pennsylvania, there’s a chance the GOP would not be running a lunatic for governor.

    Plot twist: All the Pennsylvania GQP candidates were Trump trash lunatics.

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  13. Lounsbury says:

    @Jay L Gischer: One side involves apparently innumerate self-deception and wishful thinking, in a rather sad rerun of the similar logic that led to the 1970s stagflation.

    Real incomes (that is inflation adjusted) at current inflation are declining with particularly large impacts on middle to lower income wage earners – “Democrats” not believing there is a problem may profitably be restated to ‘urban professional class online Democrats do not see a problem as they are insulated from such effects and focused on cultural issues.’

    @Sleeping Dog: excepting UK, US inflation is running structurally hotter than Rest of World although dollar appreciation will mitigate that going forward. The reality is that the Left was entirely wrong in its reaction to the inflation issue since it emerged in 2021, driven by political reaction rather than data – of course yes, one can point to decades of right-wing inflation-scare mongering, but that is a poor excuse when sober non-right wing sources were sounding alarm. But the usual crowd here spent all their time poopooing – and effectively are still.