It would be difficult to find two Republican incumbents that attracted more attention from former President Donald Trump than Georgia Governor. Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State.
Both won hugely in Tuesday's primaries against Trump-recruited challengers, who campaigned on Trump's election lies.
According to results as of Wednesday, noon ET, Kemp won by 50 percent and Raffensperger almost 20 percent.
Background: Trump narrowly lost Georgia to him in the 2020 presidential election. He claimed the election was stolen, despite multiple recounts.
Kemp wouldn't agree with that, nor would Raffensperger who is the top state election official. In a Jan 2021 call, Trump asked Raffensperger to "find him the votes"
Trump said to Raffensperger and his staff, "Fellas I need 11,000 votes." "Give me a break."
Trump became furious with Georgia's election officials and set out to expel them from office. To defeat Raffensperger, he recruited ex-Sen. David Perdue and Rep. Jody Hyice.
What happened then? What happened?
What happened to Kemp and Raffensperger, Georgia? These are three theories:
1. Incumbency has the power to change
This country has a high rate of reelection for incumbents. It is easier to vote again for someone who has voted for a candidate once they have voted. They are well-known for their track record and have established a brand.
This is certainly true in Georgia, where Kemp, for example, praised conservative-backed measures he signed into law such as a voting overhaul and his past record in defeating Democrat Stacey Abrams during a general election matchup.
2. Trump is the subject of a sustained GOP assault
Trump is the king of Republican politics in most places. Trump has taken control of the Republican National Committee, state parties and most other areas. Even candidates he doesn't endorse have gone MAGA and kissed the ring, hoping that Trump's endorsement will shine down on them.
Georgia was different because the top officials of state backed Trump's lies in their own ways. Kemp, Raffensperger, and Lt. Governor. Geoff Duncan, Kemp, Raffensperger and Lt. Gov. all placed a certain distance between them and Trump.
Kemp was accompanied by some ex-Trump friends-turned-foes like the former New Jersey Governor. Chris Christie and Mike Pence, former Vice President. Kemp did not take on Trump as seriously as he made him irrelevant during his campaign.