Trump's Kiss Of Death
In November, 2020, there were 7 Georgia counties out of 152 that gave Trump over 85% of their vote. All are rural, backward, poorly educated counties that would be good places to go if you want to die from COVID. In a state where just 55% of the residents are fully vaccinated to begin with, these 7 are among the least vaccinated anywhere in the country-- the real hopeless bottoms of the barrel kinds of places that God and time left behind.
Brantley- 90.24% (26% fully vaccinated)
Glascock- 89.58% (33% fully vaccinated)
Banks- 88.53% (31% fully vaccinated)
Pierce- 87.29% (34% fully vaccinated)
Echols- 87.10% (31% fully vaccinated)
Haralson- 86.54% (34% fully vaccinated)
Bacon- 86.07% (31% fully vaccinated)
But yesterday not one of them supported Trumps' jihad against Brian Kemp. Perdue lost all 7 counties. In fact, Perdue lost all 152 counties in the state of Georgia. And remember, the notoriously cheap grifter that Trump is, never gives substantial amounts of campaign money to any of this candidates but made a massive 2 million dollar exception for Perdue. This morning vote totals show Kemp with 877,140 votes (73.7%) to Perdue's 259,533 (21.8%). The closest Perdue came to winning a county was Chattahoochee (43.4%), another rural backward QAnon hellhole. As for the big 2020 Trump counties, Perdue didn't fare especially well in any of them, not even within the context of a massive rejection by Georgia voters
Although the margin wasn't as devastating for Trump, his far right, neo-fascist pro-insurrectionist candidate for Secretary of State, Jody Hice, was crushed by Trump enemy Brad Raffensperger, who, like Kemp, won't even have to bother with the inconvenience a runoff. He beat Hice 603,716 (52.3%) to 385,419 (33.4%). Hice won a few counties, including 2 of the 7 big 2020 Trump counties, albeit Banks County with a plurality, not a majority:
Trump also attempted to defeat the Attorney General with his own candidate-- another dismal, embarrassing failure. The incumbent AG, Chris Carr, beat Trump's candidate, John Gordon, 824,284 (73.7%) to 293,554 (26.3%), a humiliating defeat for the Mar-A-Lago MAGA leader.
On the other hand, Trump's fatally flawed, almost random joke of an incoherent and utterly pointless Senate candidate, Herschel Walker, with no credible opponent, did win. He'll probably lose to Raphael Warnock in November, despite a Republican wave cycle.
And across the border in Alabama, Trump also authored a mess. His endorsed and then unendorsed candidate, Mo Brooks-- now on the enemies list-- came in surprisingly strong and earned a spot in a runoff against the establishment candidate, Katie Britt, who leads him 288,745 (44.7%) to 188,142 (29.1%). The other top contender in the race, Mike Durant, who Trump was leaning towards endorsing, came in with just 150,529 votes (23.3%) despite having raised the most ($7,332,880), after self-funding to the tune of $6,800,000 (92.73% of his total). About $25 million was thrown away in independent expenditures by various Republican SuperPACs backing the 3 right wing candidates.
Early this morning NY Times reporters Michael Bender and Maggie Haberman focused on Trump's rejection by staunchly Republican voters. "Trump," they wrote, "picked losers up and down the ballot, most strikingly missing the mark on a third governor’s race in three weeks. The dismal record, particularly for chief executives, illustrates the shortcomings of Trump’s revenge tour." They noted that his endorsements sometimes, "based on falsehoods, vengeance and personal pride," seem to be made "on a whim or with little clear path to execution. That approach has repeatedly left him empty-handed and raised new doubts about the viselike grip he has held on the Republican Party. In Georgia, Trump tried to wipe out a triumvirate of Republican statewide officeholders who refused to help overturn the 2020 presidential results: Gov. Brian Kemp, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr. But the three men all coasted to victory-- and handed Trump a stinging rebuke in a state that has become one of the nation’s most important presidential battlegrounds."
Trump's loss in the Georgia gubernatorial race were victories for Mike Pence and Chris Christie, who were on the ground campaigning for Kemp. But Trump declared success last night, calling it "another huge night of victories."
In Georgia, the former president made ousting Kemp a top priority after the governor refused to help overturn the 2020 election results. Yet Trump was scarcely consistent: The Kemp challenger he handpicked, former Senator David Perdue, had initially hesitated to question Biden’s victory in Georgia and only became more vocal about it after entering the governor’s race.
The president’s former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, cautioned Trump against backing Perdue and pushed him instead to endorse Vernon Jones, according to people familiar with the conversation. Bannon argued that Jones, a former Georgia lawmaker who had been repeatedly accused of abusive behavior toward women, was the stronger candidate nonetheless because Trump supporters viewed Perdue’s stance on election fraud as inauthentic.
The former president refused to acknowledge recent polling that showed Perdue was headed for a crushing loss. Even as some polls showed Kemp ahead by about 30 points, Trump told Perdue in a phone call last week that he believed victory was imminent.
“We’ve never lost a race,” Trump falsely claimed of his record of endorsements, according to a person briefed on the conversation.
As president, Trump fastidiously tracked his endorsement record and played up each victory as a barometer of his own popularity. White House political aides worked with Republican leaders in Congress and with state officials to compile endorsement briefings to guide Trump’s decisions and provide guardrails to stop him from acting on some of his impulses.
Since leaving the White House, however, Trump has maintained a much more limited political infrastructure, and his endorsement process has been less methodical. He has resisted efforts to impose order on his decision making, and solicits advice from a range of informal advisers and aides, many of whom are being paid by candidates hoping to land the former president’s support.
The guiding impulse in Trump’s endorsements appears to be his determination to remain relevant.
In a meeting earlier this year about a closely contested primary, some advisers suggested that Trump’s best option might be to stay out of the race. He made clear that wasn’t an option.
“If I do that,” Trump said, “they’re just going to say they won it without me.”
At Trump's urging, Vernon Jones ran for Congress instead-- and, despite Trump's endorsement, came in second last night and will be headed for a June runoff with Mike Collins (son of former Rep. Mac Collins), who is leading him 28,184 (25.6%) to 23,796 (21.6%) in the deep red district Jody Hice gave up for his ill-fated statewide run. Jones, who was a conservative Democrat until a couple years ago, refers to himself as "the black Donald Trump." Collins also ran as a full-on MAGA crackpot and pledged to vote against McCarthy as his first vote in Congress.
If Trump was the big loser last night, who was the big winner? Ron DeSantis moves a step closer to the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.