×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
VIEW
×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
VIEW
Skip to main content
Tags: Donald Trump | georgia | rally | gop | primary | herschel walker | jody hice

Georgia Rally to Mark Debut of GOP Primary 'Trump Ticket'

herschel walker walks and talks with then-president donald trump
Herschel Walker and then-President Donald Trump (Oliver Contreras/Getty Images)

Saturday, 25 September 2021 10:39 AM

The rewards of an early Donald Trump endorsement will be on display Saturday in Georgia when a three-man ticket of candidates he is backing in 2022 Republican primaries will be featured at one of his signature rallies.

But GOP opponents of Trump-backed candidates are not folding in Georgia and some say the former president's nod could hurt Republicans in a general election in the closely divided state.

Trump's endorsement blitz is a frank attempt to keep remaking the party in his image, with Republicans eagerly courting his favor. But like everything else about the former president, it is a rule-rewriting approach, said Casey Dominguez, a political science professor at the University of San Diego.

"We haven't seen presidents in recent years try to drive a wedge within their own party, which is what happens in a primary election," Dominguez said. "He's playing factional politics in the party."

It is easy to see why they might want Trump's backing. He maintains overwhelming support among Republican voters. Ballotpedia, which tracks Trump endorsements, says candidates he endorsed have won 37 of 43 competitive primaries since 2017.

Trump will be joined at the rally in Perry, about 100 miles south of Atlanta by three candidates he has endorsed, including Herschel Walker, who recently launched a Senate campaign. Trump urged the former football great to challenge Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.

Also speaking will be Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., Trump's choice against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. While Raffensperger refused the former president's entreaties to "find" enough votes to overturn Trump's narrow loss to Democrat President Joe Biden in Georgia, Hice objected to Georgia's electors in Congress.

Completing the trio is state Sen. Burt Jones, an early Trump supporter who pushed measures to overturn Biden's Georgia victory and is running for lieutenant governor.

The rally, though, is likely to be all about Trump, who remains the star of his own show. Supporters arrive wearing Trump gear, and sometimes say they have never heard of the people he has endorsed.

Despite heavy criticizing calling Trump's allegations of mass voter fraud false, the former president has turned it into a litmus test for GOP candidates. A majority of Republican voters continue to believe the election was stolen, despite dozens of state and local elections officials, numerous judges and Trump's own attorney general saying Biden won and there is not enough voter fraud to overturn it.

Although some primary fields have been winnowed by Trump's endorsement — including in Wyoming where some Republicans dropped out of a primary against Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., after Trump tapped challenger Harriet Hageman — that has not happened in Georgia.

Walker faces three other Republicans including Gary Black, the state agriculture commissioner. Black has attacked Walker, saying he is untested. Black rolled out endorsements Monday from 55 state lawmakers, laying them atop endorsements from 76 county sheriffs, former Gov. Nathan Deal and former Rep Doug Collins, R-Ga., a onetime Trump favorite.

"It's OK to be a fan of Herschel Walker the football player," Black said. "But it's also OK to want to win the Senate back and save our country from the chaos it's in now. Georgians need an electable choice who can stand up to the national Democrats and $100 million or more in attack ads."

Jones describes himself as an underdog in his primary against a powerful business-backed state senator, but said after a Wednesday appearance with Donald Trump Jr. that the former president's backing "is going to be a pretty loud intercom saying this is a guy who will actually stand up for his constituents and stand up for conservative values."

Trump's nod could be a liability in a general election, though. Trump lost narrowly in Georgia, and Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue lost runoffs for Senate seats to Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., on Jan. 5. Some, including some Republicans, have said Trump's rigged election narrative depressed GOP runoff turnout, delivering U.S. Senate control to Democrats.

Trump has argued Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to back larger stimulus payments in December was the difference.

Democrat State Rep. Bee Nguyen, who is also running for secretary of state in 2022, said Trump's endorsements are part of his "vendetta" against some Republicans. Nguyen said Trump's activity will stir up Democrat voters, as will a restrictive election law that Republicans passed this year.

"It will continue to mobilize our base because our base understands voting rights are on the chopping block," said Nguyen, who also predicted the "constant efforts to discredit the results of the November election" would fire up Democrats.

Some Republicans see it that way as well. GOP consultant Paul Shumaker noted in a June memo that polling showed voters in North Carolina were less likely to back a Trump-endorsed candidate and more likely to vote for a Biden-endorsed candidate.

"When comparing a Trump-endorsed candidate to a Biden-endorsed candidate, our advantage with the unaffiliated voters evaporates," Shumaker wrote. "In addition, the Democratic advantage widens with college graduates and suburban voters while the rural vote softens somewhat for Republicans."

Shumaker is working for former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, who is running against Trump-endorsed Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., in a Republican Senate primary to replace the retiring Sen. Richard Burr, R-Ga. Shumaker said the poll was not paid for by McCrory.

Party leaders historically shied away from interfering in primaries, and when they did, it sometimes backfired. In 1938, Franklin Delano Roosevelt intervened to support liberals and defeat conservatives who opposed his agenda. Roosevelt's record was decidedly mixed. Conservative Democrat incumbents such as Georgia Sen. Walter George survived and Republicans made big gains overall.

Former President Barack Obama, for example, waited until primaries were settled last year before endorsing. But some liberals have tried to shape the Democratic Party with primary endorsements, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Then there is the top Georgia Republican not on the Trump ticket — Gov. Brian Kemp. Former Democrat Vernon Jones is openly courting Trump's nod, but the former president has withheld his favor while Trump supporters have floated other possible candidates.

Despite Trump's continuing scorn for Kemp, the incumbent governor might achieve a détente with some Trump-backed candidates.

Walker hired a spokesperson from Kemp's office, one possible indicator Walker might steer clear of attacking Kemp. His early message has been more positive and less confrontational than Trump.

Kemp appeared with Hice at a Sept. 13 event to criticize the Biden administration's legislative agenda. Kemp voiced hope Republicans could unify in opposition.

"The party needs to come together, we don't need to be divided," Kemp said. "That didn't work for us in 2020."

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


US
The rewards of an early Donald Trump endorsement will be on display Saturday in Georgia when a three-man ticket of candidates he is backing in 2022 Republican primaries will be featured at one of his signature rallies.
georgia, rally, gop, primary, herschel walker, jody hice, bert jones
1104
2021-39-25
Saturday, 25 September 2021 10:39 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved