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Why Donald Trump cares * so * about Georgia

Perdue is the gem of that strategy, a successful former senator and businessman who narrowly lost a second round to Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) in January. Trump had been encouraging Perdue to enter the race for months.

“Are you running for governor, David Perdue?” He asked the former senator at a rally in September, adding that Perdue was a “good guy.”
Kemp has been at the top of Trump’s target list since last November, when the Georgia Republican refused to overturn the state’s presidential election at Trump’s behest. Earlier this month, Trump insisted that “the base MAGA just won’t vote for [Kemp] after what he did regarding the integrity of the elections and two horribly organized elections, for the president, then two seats in the Senate. “
With Lost now in the raceTrump has something akin to a full list of handpicked candidates running for the state’s Republican primaries. In addition to Perdue, State Senator Burt Jones is running for the seat of lieutenant governor after current Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a prominent Trump critic, announced he would not be running for a second term. And Representative Jody Hice, still with Trump’s instigation and support, is running against Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in next year’s Republican primary. (Like Kemp, Raffensperger has become the object of significant derision by Trump and his allies for his refusal to overturn the 2020 results in the state.)

Georgia Republicans fear the possibility of a Kemp-Perdue clash – especially with 2018 candidate Stacey Abrams, who is running again in 2022 for Democrats.

“I would hate to see two good men go head to head,” Eric Tanenblatt, former chief of staff to former Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, told CNN’s Mike Warren last month. “After watching the Republican Party become the dominant party in Georgia, I’m curious that a sitting Republican governor would be challenged by another Republican.”

Tanenblatt makes a good point – whether, that is, Trump focused on what is best for the Republican Party, as there is no doubt that a fight between Kemp and Perdue makes one or the other man more vulnerable to Abrams in a general election.

But, of course, Trump is not focused on doing what’s best for the Republican Party. He’s focused on doing what’s best for Donald Trump. And the former president is determined to make sure what happened in 2020 doesn’t happen to him in 2024.

Now, it’s worth noting here that what “happened” to Trump in 2020 was that he got fewer votes than President Joe Biden in Georgia. Biden got 2,473,633 votes (49.5%) versus 2,461,854 (49.2%) for Trump. Yes, it was very close! But, there was – and there is – no reliable evidence of electoral fraud or manipulation that would have allowed Trump to achieve victory in the state.
Remember, Trump repeatedly pressured Raffensperger to “find” the votes he needed to be declared the winner.
“I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump told Georgia’s secretary of state in a phone call in early January.

Raffensperger refused, correctly noting that his job was not to find votes but rather to ensure that the votes cast were correctly counted and verified.

Trump wants someone in that job – as well as in the governor’s mansion – in 2024 who won’t turn down his request to “find” the votes he needs, so he’s creating chaos in the Georgia Republican Party for himself. ensure that result.

If you have any doubts about Perdue’s loyalty – and what he would do if placed in the Governor’s mansion before the 2024 presidential election – all you need to do is listen to what he said in a video announcing his campaign on Monday.

“[Kemp] failed us all and can’t win in November “, said Perdue. “Instead of protecting our election, he caved in to Abrams and cost us two Senate seats, the Senate majority and let Joe Biden run free. Think how different it would be today if Kemp had fought Abrams first instead of fighting Trump. “




cnn

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