Trump's vendetta in Georgia - WSJ

Senator David Perdue speaks at a rally in Augusta, Georgia, December 10, 2020. Phot...


Senator David Perdue speaks at a rally in Augusta, Georgia, December 10, 2020.


Photo:

John Bazemore / Associated press

For a preview of the long shadow

Donald trump

may throw on the 2022 midterm elections, see former Sen. David Perdue’s announcement Monday that he will challenge Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in a Republican primary. It’s a good way to tip a major state to the progressive left.

Mr Trump pushed Mr Perdue into the race for months, as part of the former president’s vendetta against Mr Kemp. He claims the governor did not fight enough to reverse Mr Trump’s loss of state in 2020.

Mr Perdue’s video ad swims in that muddy water, going so far as to blame Mr Kemp for the senator’s own loss in a runoff on Jan.5. He claims Georgia Republicans were “divided” because Mr. Kemp “caved in” and “cost us two Senate seats, the Senate majority, and gave

Joe biden

flames. “

Mr. Perdue is free to compete, but not to rewrite history. Mr Trump lost Georgia in the 2020 presidential race, as the audits and recounts have pointed out. Yet rather than launch the state’s two second Senate elections weeks later as a way to verify a new Democratic president, Mr. Trump had the Senate hold a referendum on his allegations of voter fraud, which discouraged the GOP participation. Mr Perdue also waged a lackluster campaign against Jon Ossoff, a weak candidate who lost a Swing-District House race in suburban Atlanta in 2017.

A Kemp-Perdue primary will help no one more than Stacey Abrams, the progressive who said last week she would run for governor after losing to Mr Kemp in 2018. Mr Kemp was injured by the dam of Trump, but recently months had shown progress in bringing his party together. He signed a voting reform in Georgia that strengthened the integrity of the ballot and made it easier to vote. He skillfully ruled Peach State during Covid, keeping the economy relatively open. The state’s unemployment rate is at an all-time low of 3.1%.

Mr Perdue won his first race, but his re-election campaign was hampered by investigations into his stock trading during his tenure. The former businessman has been investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission without any charges, but the media and Democrats will hammer history to portray him as a rich man who played with the system. Mr. Perdue’s ties to Mr. Trump have cost him support in suburban Atlanta, where GOP candidates must do well to win in swing states like Georgia.

The Republican Governors Association may feel compelled to defend Mr. Kemp as the incumbent. But those dollars would be better spent on making more competitive races in states where suburban and independent voters will seek to curb Democratic excesses. Whoever wins the primary will be handicapped against Ms. Abrams, who will have a united party.

Republicans are poised to make major gains in 2022 as voters retreat against the Democratic Party’s left turn. But the GOP’s biggest obstacle will be the party divisions, stoked by Mr. Trump, and the candidates he supports not because they are better, but because they cover or mask whether he has lost the results. elections.

Potomac Watch: Stacey Abrams lost the Georgia governor’s 2018 race to Republican Brian Kemp, and to date she has never accepted the result. In 2022, the Progressive Democrat will take it up again, although his main focus is still on ‘voter suppression’. Images: AP / Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Published in the print edition of December 8, 2021.

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