The results in yesterday's Georgia's Republican Primary were a truly remarkable repudiation of former President Donald Trump's control of the Republican Party.
For the last several weeks, it has been apparent that Donald Trump's handpicked gubernatorial candidate, former Senator David Perdue, was going to lose the nomination to Governor Brian Kemp. But it was expected to at least be somewhat competitive. It wasn't. As I write this, with 93% of the vote in, Kemp leads 73.5% to 21.9%. Kemp's nearly 52% victory margin translates into nearly 600,000 votes.
|Georgia Secretary of State |
Kemp was the No. 1 target on Trump's 2022 revenge tour chiefly because of his prominence at the top of the ticket. But the bigger enemy for Trump was undoubtedly Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Not only did he refuse Trump's demand that he "find" votes to put him over the top in the state during a phone call, Raffensperger had the temerity to record that call and make it public. The recorded conversation is now evidence in a possible criminal prosecution of Trump for election interference.
Up until a couple months or so ago, Raffensperger was considered to be dead politically. Trump had recruited a Big Lie proponent, Congressman Jody Hice, to run against him. Going into the election, the betting was that Raffensperger would fall well short of 50% to avoid a run-off which he would surely lose to Hice. Instead, Raffensperger shocked the political world, winning handily 52.1% to 33.6%, a margin of over 200,000 votes. There will be no run-off in the Secretary of State's race.
Turning back the clock, in June of 2021, the Georgia Republican Party passed a censure resolution condemning Raffensperger. That year Raffensperger and Kemp were censured by numerous local GOP committees. The difference between then and now highlights how the Georgia GOP climate has shifted.
Trump also recruited attorney John Gordon in an effort to oust Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr. Despite Trump's endorsement of Gordon, Carr won with 73.7% of the vote.
As to the two Georgia open congressional seats, the 6th and the 10th, Trump endorsed attorney Jake Evans and former Democratic state representative Vernon Jones respectively. Evans lost 43.2% to 23.2% and Jones was edged out 25.6% to 21.6%. Both did qualify for next month's runoff primary.
Trump's one bright spot in Georgia was that his candidate, former football legend Herschel Walker, easily won the GOP nomination for Senate.