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Georgia Governor’s Race Hints at Good News Down the Road for GOP and Democrats

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I have made a point of closely monitoring the impact of Trump’s endorsements throughout the nation, but especially in two states that have become useful when seen as canaries on a land mine, Georgia and Ohio. Of course, no one wants to place too much importance on any one state race as indicative of national trends, but Georgia, a blue state on the national level and red on the state level, is perhaps the best we have. Additionally, Trump harbors a special level of rage and hatred for Georgia and the Georgia GOP, save for a few who have always bowed to him.

Trump obviously believes that elections are malleable, and in Georgia, he got “close enough” to win because his “side” was in charge. Even Lindsey Graham made a (possibly felonious) telephone call under the same presumption. Something could be done. After all, Trump only lost by a relatively few votes. Surely they could just grab a win. They’re Republicans!

And that’s the problem; that’s what we must watch going forward, especially given Trump’s behavior of late – his rally on Saturday was the most frightening one in a long time – there is serious worry that Republicans everywhere will now see elections as malleable and states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and others will be expected to find a way to throw the national election, whether for the president or senate, to the Republicans. The more Trump pushed, the harder Gov. Kemp dug in and held firm. While Trump remains popular in Georgia, it appears that Georgia Republicans aren’t taking out any anger on Kemp, as he holds a strong lead over a serious challenger in Trump-backed former Sen. David Perdue.

Perdue, in desperation, opened up the first debate between the two last night by declaring that Trump won the 2020 election. Given the fact that Perdue’s run is based largely upon revenge for not engineering that “win,” it’s good to know that the line – which he’s been repeating over and over – does not ensure an automatic victory.

Obviously, no one is throwing a party and declaring democracy safe in America. But close your eyes and ask yourself how substantially different the political environment would be if Kemp was down 15 points, with Trump marching around the country, crowing about his revenge. Every Republican in every state would know that their career is over if they pull a “Kemp” in 2024, whether the candidate is Trump, DeSantis, Hawley, or whomever.

Again, Democracy is not safe. Republicans have made it incredibly difficult to vote – and Kemp played a large role in making those changes in Georgia. Democracy is in the ICU. Case managers are looking at moving it to hospice care. But there is reason to believe that democracy has bought itself a bit more time. Georgia Republicans, some of the most hardcore Trump supporters in the nation, are not overwhelmingly burying Kemp. They’re supporting him.

For those readers who might say that this is grasping at straws? Fair enough. The point is that it could be worse and that is not grasping at straws. There could be a clear sign out there that Republicans everywhere best prepare to sculpt election results in an acceptable manner and show a willingness to find 17,000 votes in order to preserve any hopes for a political future.

It appears Kemp will win renomination easily. It would be wonderful if he stood at the podium and said that the party was and always will be bigger than one person. He won’t do it. But the results will speak for themselves.

 

 



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