The former president has sought to impose his candidates on his party, however, Georgia has shown him that it will not be easy, what will be the consequences?
Photo: Flickr-Gage Skidmore
LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio
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Leer en español: Las primarias en Georgia y el revés al discurso de Trump
Donald Trump's goal is clear: to return to the White House in 2024, to achieve this the former president is already moving his pieces. One of the most important is the state of Georgia, where he sought to prop up his candidate for governor, even going against the interests of his party that imply the continuity of the current executive: Brian Kemp, whom Trump accuses of being in part responsible for his defeat in re-election. What happened in Georgia will undoubtedly have repercussions in the presidential race that is just around the corner.
Kemp seeking re-election
Trump's anger towards Governor Brian Kemp is due to the fact that in the 2020 presidential election Georgia was one of the states in which Joe Biden won, a place that in the 21st century has been considered one of the bastions of the Republican Party. At that time, Donald Trump asked Kemp to use his power as governor to convene the state Congress in a special session in which he would annul the election result on the pretext of alleged fraud. Kemp refused Trump's aspiration.
Also, in an act that was exposed by media such as the BBC, Trump openly stated by telephone to Brad Raffensperger, Secretary of State of Georgia, his "need" to "find" almost 12,000 votes to avoid losing the election in the state, something that still is under investigation. Despite this, Georgia's 16 electoral votes would have done little for Trump to win the presidency, but they would have allowed him to magnify the idea of fraud in other states and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election won by Biden.
This gesture was not forgotten by the former president, so in response, he sought to place someone he trusted in the governorship of Georgia, former senator David Perdue. However, his attempt failed, Kemp won the nomination for his party and left Trump in a bad light. Former Vice President Mike Pence was one of the most important figures who supported Kemp, after the break with Trump and does not rule out running for president in 2024. The Republican Party in Georgia announced Kemp's victory on its Twitter account. Despite the loss for governor, all is not lost for Trump as his Senate candidate, former NFL star Herschel Walker, won the nomination. Despite this, Walker does not have it easy, since he will face Pastor Raphael Warnock recently installed in his position after beating the Republicans last year.
The Political Weight of the State of Georgia
Georgia is proving to be a paradigmatic state within the complex electoral engineering of the United States. The southern state has managed to have a unique specific weight that stands out in the country's politics. It is enough to remember the 2020 elections in the Senate (every two years a third of the chamber is renewed), although the Republicans lost the presidency, they still had the hope of dominating the chambers. In the Senate case, it seemed to be happening, but the state of Georgia changed things in a special election in which Democratic candidates Jon Ossof and Raphael Warnock defeated David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively. These two victories allowed the Democrats to reach 50 seats (48 + 2 independents supporting the Democrats) leaving the Republicans with 50 as well. The Democratic advantage would then be Vice President Harris (President of the Senate by law) who has the power to cast her vote in the event of a tie, which in practice gives the majority to the Democratic side.
In this year's elections, the Republican Party will seek to regain one of the two Senate seats for Georgia. Herschel Walker's popularity will face that of Raphael Warnock, this time for the full 6-year term. In addition to this seat, another 33 will be up for grabs. The Democratic Party is shaping up to get 54. For Trump, the victory of Walker and other of his candidates would mean regaining some of the confidence lost after the scandalous shutdown of his government and directing his campaign towards the presidency in 2024.
Trump's Still Valid Options
Former President Trump's plan is not limited to promoting two or three candidates, but a large number of them throughout the country. Thus, other characters financed by the tycoon also participated in the recent primaries to achieve the nomination for different positions. Among the most important are: Marjorie Taylor Greene, a representative from Georgia known for her unconditional support for Trump and his conspiracy theories; writer JD Vance as a Senate candidate; Sarah Huckabee Sanders former White House press secretary running for governor of Arkansas; the businessman Ted Budd who is seeking to jump from the House of Representatives to the Senate for North Carolina, and the far-right soldier Doug Mastriano, who is seeking to be governor of Pennsylvania.
Trump thus shows the power he still has within the Republican Party, which he could once again force to support his presidential candidacy as happened in 2016 under the threat of becoming an independent if he did not, a disadvantage that would be critical for the party.