Last week I urged the GOP to take ownership of their current situation. Some folks asked me to be more specific about what that looks like. Before I offer some thoughts, let me say that lots of people worked very hard in the days leading up to the November 3rd General Election and during the Senate runoffs. Smart people should examine the grassroots effort looking for ways to improve. But it seems to me the grassroots efforts of thousands of Republican volunteers was excellent.
As we saw on the national level, with the exception of President Trump’s loss and two races unexpectedly forced into runoffs, it was a pretty good night for the Georgia GOP. Some had predicted the Democrats could take over the state House, or at least come pretty close. That didn’t happen. We only lost 1 State Senate seat, and held all statewide offices – the Senate losses of course came in January.
November 4 was when the trouble for the Republicans officially began.
We’re all familiar with the election aftermath, the loss of the two Senate runoffs, and the turmoil that threatens the GOP’s future in this state. Make no mistake, the GOP’s majority status in this state is very much in doubt at this moment. This is why I write about taking extreme ownership of the situation and why I write this follow up post.
Roman historian Tacitus said “victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone.” It’s easy to point fingers as to why Trump, Loeffler, and Perdue lost. Some blame Secretary Raffensperger. After all, Trump told him to “find the votes” and he refused. Others blame Governor Kemp for not calling a special session of the Legislature to change the laws prior to the runoffs. Numerous others are named and blamed for various alleged disloyal acts. This line of thinking will is tearing the GOP apart, and will swing the door wide open to Democratic rule of this state.
For Republicans to take extreme ownership of their current situation, they must reject the “stolen election” narrative. Does that mean there was no fraud? Of course not, but that’s not why Biden won Georgia. The explanation for Biden’s victory in Georgia is a simple one: a number of Republican voters, despite voting for Republicans down ticket, couldn’t bring themselves to vote to reelect Donald Trump.
How do I know this? Because David Perdue received more votes on 11/3 than Trump did. Because a cursory glance at local election data shows that State House and State Senate Republican incumbents received more votes in their districts that Trump did. And because of conversations I’ve had with people across this state, who remain loyal Republicans (at least they were before the horrific events of 1/6/21) who either didn’t vote for Trump, or knew people who didn’t vote for Trump.
This analysis of Georgia election data further proves my point.
Republicans should undertake a complete review of all election activities from grassroots work, to messaging, to campaign ads. In the meantime, Republicans must reject revenge, “RINO hunts,” purity tests, and the like. We must take ownership of the fact our President contributed to his own electoral demise. If we don’t, we will pursue wrong answers to the wrong questions. Instead, let’s take ownership of the truth, work to rebuild a winning coalition in the state, and move toward victory in 2022.