Since the 2020 election, the former president has been consistent with his loss in the state and two Republican politicians he has blamed for that defeat: Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Ravensberger.
Trump personally enlisted each of the men’s primary rivals and declared loudly and repeatedly that he would help defeat them.
It didn’t work out that way.
It is impossible to look at these results – and the attention, money and time Trump devoted to the country – and see anything other than an absolute political disaster for the former president.
so what happened? After all, Trump’s endorsement, in general, has been a boon to the candidates who have earned it. While Trump’s endorsement is no guarantor of victory, he has, without doubt, helped candidates in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania already this primary season.
Some reasons for Trump’s defeats on Tuesday come to mind:
1) The incumbents are hard to beat. While Trump has changed many of the old rules that govern policy, he has not changed all of them. One rule of thumb at work is that incumbents are hard to let go. While Purdue was elected statewide, he was out of office. On the other hand, Kemp cleverly used his powers of office to reward friends and punish those who transgressed him in support of Purdue. In the Secretary of State’s race, Hess did relatively well in his congressional district, but he ran a lot behind Ravensberger in the rest of the state.
2) The “big lie” is not enoughNeither Purdue nor Hess had any issues he could run against Kemp and Ravensberger other than the idea that the incumbents hadn’t done enough to combat the misconception that the elections in Georgia had been stolen from Trump. That turned out to be not enough — or even close to enough. Republican voters may have agreed with rivals on the nature of the 2020 election, but it wasn’t a voting issue.
3) Voters wanted to move forwardIt’s been two tough years for Republicans in Georgia. The party lost not only the presidential race in 2020, but two Senate seats in early 2021 — defeats that cost Republicans control of the Chamber. Georgia Republican voters sent a very clear message on Tuesday: They don’t want to spend another second talking about the 2020 election.
Unsurprisingly, Trump did not seem to grasp the significance of what happened in Georgia.
“A big and very successful evening of political endorsements,” he wrote on his Truth Social platform. “The Great New Senate Candidate, et al., in Georgia.” (Trump endorsed Republican Herschel Walker in the Senate race, and the former soccer star took an initial victory.)
Trump can spin what happened in Georgia on Tuesday any way he wants. But facts are facts. Trump wanted to defeat Kemp and Ravensberger to show what happens to anyone who passed him in the 2020 election. Instead, Kemp and Ravensberger showed that the Emperor in Georgia at least wasn’t dressed.