Nationally, the political climate isn’t bad for Republicans. They haven’t paid much of a political price for the lies that led to January 6 (which is unfortunate) and the subsequent storming of the Capitol (even more unfortunate), Biden’s poll numbers aren’t great, and redistricting will likely help them take back the House. (Taking back the Senate seems unlikely.)
Still, nothing is guaranteed in elections, especially in Georgia, where circular firing squads are dominating county Republican parties. Then, there’s the ex-president, Donald Trump. He stood on stage and effectively endorsed Stacey Abrams over Gov. Brian Kemp at a rally in Perry attended by Republican candidates and the Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party because he still can’t get over the fact that he lost to Joe Biden.
Yesterday, Trump had this latest nugget of denialism: “If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.”
Parsing the statement, Trump isn’t encouraging Republicans to stay home, but he’s saying they won’t vote. National Review editor Rich Lowry shot back, tweeting, “I guess unnecessarily losing the Georgia special elections—and empowering Joe Biden to spend additional trillions and get through a bunch of dreadful executive branch and judicial nominees—was just the proof of concept.”
Georgia Republicans are hoping to pick off Sen. Ralph Warnock and, depending on how the lines are drawn, gain another House seat in the Georgia delegation. Trump’s continued lies about the election and his insistence that Republicans will stay home because no one would steal the election for him are Georgia Republicans’ biggest challenges.
When you turn a political party into a cult, don’t be shocked when members of the party hinge on almost every word the cult leader says. It may be too early to say what’ll happen in a year, but if Republicans see disappointing election results nationally or in Georgia, they will have deserved it.