Trump returns to Georgia confronting test of his grip on GOP

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Trump returns to Georgia on Saturday night for a rally with Walker, Perdue, Jones and other Republicans he’s backed ahead of the state’s May 24 primary…reports Asian Lite News

In Donald Trump’s push to fundamentally reshape the Republican Party, few places are a higher priority than Georgia. The former president has issued highly-coveted endorsements in races ranging from governor to state insurance commissioner. His backing of football legend Herschel Walker essentially cleared a path to the party’s nomination for a critical US Senate seat.

Trump has taken a particularly active role in shaping the governor’s race, recruiting former Sen. David Perdue to challenge incumbent Brian Kemp as retribution for his not going along with lies about the 2020 election being stolen. And in an effort to clear a path for Perdue, Trump pressed another Republican in the race Vernon Jones to run for Congress instead.

Trump returns to Georgia on Saturday night for a rally with Walker, Perdue, Jones and other Republicans he’s backed ahead of the state’s May 24 primary.

The campaign is emerging as an early, critical test of whether the former president can live up to his professed role as a kingmaker in the GOP. I think it could be the start of, I don’t want to use the word downfall, but it could be the start of his influence waning, said Eric Tanenblatt, former chief of staff to ex-Georgia Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue and a former fundraiser for David Perdue who is backing Kemp in the primary.

There are warning signs for Trump. While Walker is marching to the primary with minimal opposition, other races are more complicated. Jones, for instance, is now competing in a crowded congressional primary in which no one may clear the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff.

Perdue, meanwhile, may pose an even higher-profile challenge for the former president. He has struggled to raise money and, in a Fox News poll released this month, trailed Kemp 50% to 39%.

If that dynamic holds, Kemp would be within striking distance of winning the primary outright, averting a runoff. Trump has been obsessed with this once Republican stronghold since the aftermath of the 2020 campaign, when he became the first GOP presidential candidate to lose the state in 28 years. It could again be central to his political future if he decides to run for the White House in 2024.

That’s why his activity in the state is especially notable as Trump is essentially rallying voters behind candidates who could go on to play critical roles in certifying future elections in which he’s a participant.

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