Over the course of the last several weeks, former President Donald Trump has notched a number of vicarious political wins for himself, as the candidates he has endorsed continue to win their primary elections on the way to 2022’s big show.
But there have been a few exceptions thus far, namely in smaller races, and Trump hasn’t put much stock into the predictive nature of those contests.
In Georgia, however, it will be difficult to ignore a similar defeat…especially when the other candidate has been endorsed by one of Trump’s closest former confidantes.
Gov. Brian Kemp is leading former Sen. David Perdue by 32 points less than a week away from Georgia’s highly anticipated Republican gubernatorial primary, according to a Fox News poll published Wednesday.
Sixty percent of Georgia Republican primary voters prefer Kemp, compared with 28 percent who say they support Perdue. It’s a notable shift from March, when 50 percent of voters said they preferred Kemp, while 39 percent selected Perdue as their favorite.
Here is where it gets hairy for The Don:
The May 24 primary between Perdue and Kemp has seen heavy involvement from former President Donald Trump, who has made the governor one of his top midterm targets, along with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, for refusing to intervene and overturn the state’s election results in 2020, when President Joe Biden narrowly won Georgia.Advertisement - story continues below
And former Vice President Mike Pence, who has also been the subject of Trump’s 2020 wrath, threw his support into the race last week, announcing he will hold a rally with Kemp on primary eve — his most notable act of defiance against his former boss to date.
Trump, meanwhile, has campaigned for Perdue and thrown money into the race. His political action committee and other Trump-aligned groups have boosted the campaign and funded TV advertisements hammering Kemp. But despite the weight of Trump’s intervention, top Republicans believe Kemp can secure more than 50 percent of the vote needed to avoid a June run-off race against his rival.
The Georgia gubernatorial race could be a bellwether contest for the de facto MAGA leader, and there are plenty of anti-Trump Republicans who could point to the contest when it comes time to nominate someone for the 2024 presidential election.
And, with Georgia now a certifiable swing state, all eyes could be on the Peach State in the coming months.