Former president has given highly-coveted endorsements for races that range from governor to commissioner of state insurance. His support of football legend Herschelwalker opened the way to the party's nomination in the U.S. Senate.
Trump played a significant role in the shaping of the governor's race. He recruited former Sen. David Perdue as his challenger to incumbent Brian Kemp. This was in retribution for not agreeing with lies regarding the 2020 election being stolen. In an attempt to make Perdue's path clear, Trump asked Vernon Jones to run for Congress.
Trump will be back in Georgia Saturday night to rally with Walker Perdue Jones, Jones, and other Republicans that he backed before the May 24 primary. This campaign will be a critical test to see if Trump can fulfill his role as kingmaker in the GOP.
Eric Tanenblatt, ex-chief of staff to the ex-Georgia Republican Governor, said, "I think it could possibly be the beginning of, I don’t want to use that word downfall but it could be he influence waning." Sonny Perdue, a former fundraiser for David Perdue, is supporting Kemp in the primary.
Trump is being warned. Walker marches to the primary with little opposition. But other races are more complex. Jones is one example. He is currently competing in a crowded congressional primaries in which no one can reach the threshold of 50% to avoid a runoff.
Perdue may be a more prominent challenge to the former president. In a Fox News poll this month , he trailed Kemp by 50% to 39%. Kemp could win the primary if that dynamic holds.
Since the aftermath of the 2020 campaign Trump has been obsessed by this once Republican stronghold. He was the first GOP presidential nominee to lose the state within 28 years. If he runs for the White House in 2024, it could be a key to his future political plans.
Trump's activity in the state is particularly notable because he is basically rallying voters behind candidates that could play crucial roles in certifying future election in which he is a participant. He has already demonstrated an exceptional willingness to press officials to reverse results that he does not like. Trump pressured Brad Raffensperger , Georgia Secretary of State, to "find enough votes" to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. This conversation is currently the subject of an Atlanta grand jury investigation.
After three recounts, one of which was partially hand-counted, the Georgia results were certified. All of them confirmed Biden's victory.
Federal and state election officials, as well as Trump's attorney general said that there is no evidence of fraud in the election. Courts including Trump's appointed judges, rejected the allegations of fraud made by the former president.
A stumble in Georgia could hurt his efforts to support candidates who pledge loyalty for his vision of the GOP . This GOP is dominated over election lies and culture clashes on issues related to gender and race. Some of these candidates are already in trouble.
Trump has withdrawn his endorsement for struggling Alabama Republican Senate Primary candidate Mo Brooks. Next month, Trump will be traveling to North Carolina to support his pick for the North Carolina Senate primary, Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Budd. Ted Budd has been behind in fundraising and polling, as well as in polling. Pat McCrory. Trump's choice for Pennsylvania's Senate GOP primary was not chosen. Trump has thus far not supported a candidate in the key, but bruising, Senate primaries in Ohio or Missouri.
Several top Trump opponents, including Republican Rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming and Sen. Despite Trump's promise for over a year to make sure they are defeated, Lisa Murkowski from Alaska has not abandoned her bid for reelection.
Kemp, who is hosting his Saturday meeting with the Columbia County Republican Party, in suburban Augusta reported that he had $12.7 million in his main campaign account at Jan. 31. This far surpasses Perdue's $1 million cash in January.
The incumbent governor has pledged to invest at least $4.2million in TV ads before Georgia's primary. Others Trump detractors are increasing spending, including GOP 2.0 (a super PAC created by Lt. Governor). Geoff Duncan is not running for reelection, but has been harshly criticised by Trump for his defense Georgia's 2020 election results.
Republican Duncan said Trump's endorsement wasn't the "golden card" it once was. His group will launch its 30-second TV spot to coincide with Trump's rally. In it, Duncan laments politicians who prefer to talk about conspiracy theories or past losses than let liberal extremists steer us in the wrong direction.
"You almost feel sorry for David Perdue. Duncan stated in an interview that he was "walking off the plank Donald Trump has placed out for him here in Georgia." Duncan stated that a rally will be held in Georgia, which is likely to confuse Georgians again and who knows what Donald Trump might say.
Duncan said that Trump was out to settle a matter and "that's not how to keep conservative leadership at power."
Despite such concerns, Trump isn't backing down. He supported John Gordon, an unknown candidate to challenge Attorney General Chris Carr. He also supported Patrick Witt in his fight against John King, the Insurance Commissioner. Trump's most vehement target is Kemp, and the Republican incumbents are closest to Kemp.
Trump's ex-ambassador to Luxembourg Randy Evans said that the former president's endorsements on the Georgia ballot will allow Trump’s preferred candidates to strengthen each other.
Evans stated that Saturday's event could lift the group. "The earned media of Trump just changes every dynamic."
Tanenblatt countered, saying that Trump was trying to influence many races, including those that are not down-ballot. This was done to antagonize Kemp for a 2020 election that has been settled long ago.
He said, "I don’t believe that because he’s the former President, and someone whom Republicans would prefer to over President Biden that endorsements of someone automatically mean that they’re the heir apparent win."