While many Republican candidates across the country continue to seek the backing of former President Donald Trump in an effort to separate themselves from other GOP contenders, a scenario playing out in the state of Georgia shows that Trump’s pull with voters is beginning to wane.
As CNN host Abby Phillip noted Sunday, former Sen. David Perdue is faltering in his bid to beat out incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp for the Republican gubernatorial nomination:
“This is about Trump at the end of the day. In other races, for example, Georgia, Trump has created this civil war in that race basically because he is in a grudge match with Governor Kemp for not endorsing the election stealing lies. It’s caused a lot of Republicans to be confused.”
Phillip added that a GOP operative had told her, “A lot of Republicans don’t understand why you would challenge an incumbent governor.”
Trump, it’s important to recall, is mad at Kemp for his failure to help overturn the results of balloting in the Peach State during the 2020 presidential race.
The developments in Georgia led Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report to remark:
“For voters, you have to give them a reason to do this and there are a certain segment of Republicans who do believe that going against President Trump is enough of a reason to oust them from their job, but the most recent polling that’s come out in Georgia has Perdue, the challenger, trailing Governor Kemp by about ten points.
“It’s always hard to try to come back after losing, especially when your loss meant a Democratic Senate. The other thing, I talked to a Republican operative the other day he said, look, the endorsement by Trump is still super-important, it’s something that you do want as a Republican in a primary. At the same time, you still have to run a good campaign. You still have to be a good candidate. If you don’t have the endorsement you can still find a way to win these things.”
Perdue is seen by many Republicans as damaged goods since he lost the his bid for reelection to the Senate to Democrat Raphael Warnock.
Walter then added:
“There are examples where it’s happened. You still have to — we go back to basics all the time — but you still have to run a campaign. Many of these candidates thought ‘I got the Trump endorsement, what do I need to worry about? Everything will come to me: money, love, votes.’ It doesn’t work that way.”
With Trump facing financial collapse and possible indictment, it’s safe to say his sway with Republicans will continue to fade.
Here’s the video from CNN: