Trump’s effort to get back at Georgia’s conservative GOP governor isn’t working: journalist

Trump’s effort to get back at Georgia’s conservative GOP governor isn’t working: journalist

When Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and former Sen. David Perdue held a gubernatorial primary debate on Sunday, April 24, Perdue attacked Kemp for refusing to go along with the Big Lie and acknowledging that now-President Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election. Journalist Sam Brodey analyzes that debate and Perdue’s campaign in an article published by the Daily Beast on April 25, arguing that former President Donald Trump’s efforts to get back at Kemp aren’t working.

The Perdue campaign, Brodey stresses, underscores Trump’s thirst for revenge against Kemp.

“In December, Perdue launched a campaign to primary (Kemp) — backed by the full might of Donald Trump — based almost entirely on the governor’s refusal to illegally overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 win in Georgia,” Brodey explains. “With the MAGA grassroots still fired up about election fraud conspiracies, Georgia Republicans braced for a brutal cage match between two of their most high-profile politicians. A Kemp loss was seen as possible. A bruised GOP nominee heading into the general election against Democrat Stacey Abrams was seen as a certainty. Now, as the May 24 primary draws near, this Republican battle royale has turned out to be as bitterly personal as expected.”

But so far, Brodey observes, Republican Georgia voters haven’t warmed up to Perdue’s gubernatorial campaign in a big way.

“Not a single public poll of the primary has found Perdue leading Kemp,” Brodey notes. “One recent survey even showed the governor ahead by 24 points. Meanwhile, the Georgia GOP establishment has largely rallied around Kemp, as have legions of rank-and-file types. Kemp has badly outraised Perdue, and his ads attacking the ex-senator are omnipresent on TV screens across the state. Trump, already seeking to manage expectations, has publicly suggested Perdue — a former senator and Fortune 500 CEO — is a ‘long shot.’”

How soon the general election in Georgia’s 2022 gubernatorial race will begin depends on how well Kemp and Perdue perform on May 24. Unless one of them wins more than 50% of the vote, the GOP primary will go to a runoff in June. Kemp’s supporters have argued that Perdue needs to get out of the race so that Kemp can focus all of his energy on running against Abrams, a Democratic rock star who Kemp narrowly defeated in the 2018 midterms.

Jason Shepherd, former chairman of the Cobb County GOP in Georgia, believes that Perdue’s campaign is floundering. Shepherd told the Beast, “David Perdue seems to be caught in the past, without a plan. His campaign is trying to run to the right of the most conservative Republican governor that Georgia has ever had.”

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