Former President Donald Trump’s sway over GOP voters, a key talking point for the leftist media, was a decidedly mixed bag in Tuesday’s primaries. While he is doubtless a popular figure with many, the role of kingmaker may be slipping away.
Trump’s nearly unblemished record suffered stings recently in Republican primaries in Idaho, Nebraska, and North Carolina. Granted, the North Carolina defeat was a self-inflicted wound by the incumbent.
Still, many eyes then turned to Georgia for validation of his influence, one way or the other. Much of the former president’s political capital was leveraged in the state which he narrowly lost in 2020. What that capital bought is one big win and one big loss.
The victory came when his candidate for Senate, Bulldogs football legend Herschel Walker, rolled over his primary challengers. Truth be told, running against Walker in Georgia, especially as a Republican, is akin to opposing Peyton Manning in Tennessee or Nick Saban in Alabama. Good luck.
The defeat? Incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, who turned back Trump’s pressure to not certify President Joe Biden’s slim win in Georgia in 2020, became Trump’s personal boogeyman. The former president threw his weight behind challenger David Perdue to boot Kemp off the ticket.
By a staggering 51% of primary voters, Kemp easily brushed off the challenge and moved on to a November rematch with 2018 Democratic loser Stacey Abrams.
Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, harshly criticized by Trump for his actions after the last presidential election, defeated a challenger backed by the former president. So definitely a mixed bag of results.
That’s not to say that Trump did not enjoy impressive wins Tuesday. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton cruised past challenger George P. Bush in the Republican primary runoff.
Former Trump White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders routed her GOP primary challenger for governor of Arkansas. Sen. John Boozman, who gained Trump’s endorsement despite criticism in his role in the events of Jan. 6, won a tough primary against a former Razorback.
Any observer of the left-wing media knows radicals are salivating to make Trump’s shadow loom larger than it is. The former president is admired by many, but most Republicans are aware that liberal Washington is causing far too much destruction to continue fixating on the past.