Georgia’s incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp appears headed for an easy victory in the Republican primary on May 24. Despite being challenged by former Senator David Perdue, who entered the primary at the urging of Donald Trump, Kemp is poised to receive more than 50% of the vote in the primary, guaranteeing that he won’t need a runoff to win.

Kemp angered Trump when he refused to decertify Joe Biden’s razor-thin victory over the former president in the 2020 election because the state’s constitution limits the governor’s ability to interfere in elections. The resulting war of words between Trump and Kemp filtered through and affected the Senate runoff in January 2021 when GOP voters stayed home and Perdue narrowly lost to Democrat Jon Ossoff.

The Hill:

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp holds a more than 20-point lead in the Republican gubernatorial primary race against former Sen. David Perdue (Ga.), according to a new poll by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs on behalf of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The poll, which surveyed likely Republican primary voters, found that 53 percent of voters support Kemp in the race, while 26 percent support Perdue.

Similar results occur when asked whether respondents approve of the men, with Kemp’s favorable rating at 71 percent and Perdue’s at 57 percent.

If Kemp gets more than 50% of the primary vote, he’s in. But what happened to Trump’s fabled ability to influence elections? The former president vowed to take down Kemp in 2022 and gave $500,000 of his own money to make that happen.

“I’ve always said there’s fraud in every election, and when I was secretary of state, I went after it,” Kemp said on Sunday. “I didn’t say there wasn’t problems in this election. Look, I was as frustrated as anybody else.”

In the poll, 87 percent said election security was extremely or very important, while almost 60 percent are very or somewhat confident the 2020 elections were conducted fairly and accurately.

Not every candidate Trump backs is going to win. Not every candidate that Trump has targeted for defeat will lose. Trump is not a king, nor is he omnipotent.

In Georgia, local issues played to Kemp’s strengths surrounding the economy and his pandemic response. Perdue’s messaging was muddled and depended most on highlighting Trump’s disapproval of Kemp. It wasn’t enough.

The national media will pounce on this defeat and claim that Trump is losing his power or some such nonsense. It is now as it was before; there are some races where Trump is going to make a positive difference. There will be some races where Trump’s endorsement will negatively impact a candidate. And there will be races where Trump’s support is a wash.

It’s not brain surgery, dummies. It’s politics.

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