Donald Trump’s “Save America” PAC, the PAC formed to fund legal challenges to the 2020 election, took a poll in Georgia and found that 1) Trump is extremely popular among Republicans, 2) David Perdue would force Brian Kemp into a runoff, but only if Trump endorsed him and 3) Herschel Walker would win the GOP Senate nomination.
In a hypothetical primary matchup, Kemp would lead Perdue and a number of other challengers — but he’d be shy of the majority of the vote needed to avoid a runoff with Perdue. But the poll also tested a prospective scenario in which Trump endorsed Perdue in a primary against Kemp and found the former senator would flip the script, pulling ahead of the governor, 41 percent to 26 percent, giving Perdue the upper hand going into a runoff against the incumbent.
Perdue briefly announced a run for Senate but quickly backed out. In recent weeks he’s reportedly been subject to efforts by Mitch McConnell to get him to change his mind, but no change of mind appears to be coming.
Would he challenge Kemp? Despite what this polls claims, challenging an incumbent member of your own Party is not that easy. Even this pro-Trump poll doesn’t show Perdue defeating Kemp straight up, he needs Trump’s intervention to force Kemp into a grueling runoff. Does Perdue want to be the person who loses to a Democrat after a bloody runoff? Does he want to potentially be blamed for weakening Kemp and handing the Governor’s mansion to the other Party? I doubt it. In addition, I’m unaware of any “bad blood” between Team Kemp and the Perdue Machine that would lead Perdue to knife Kemp in his political back.
As we’ve noted, Trump says Walker will run, but Herschel has been strangely silent about running for office in Georgia. As far as we know, he still lives in Texas. This is not the first poll showing Walker would win the GOP nomination. Clearly it’s not poll numbers preventing him from running. Maybe Trump wants it more that Walker does? Nevertheless, it’s time for Walker to let us know his plans.
My conclusion is that what we have here is a former President who really, really hates Brian Kemp, but has come up empty in finding someone to run against him. Sources tell me State Senator Burt Jones resisted extreme pressure from Trump to take on Kemp and instead opted for the open Lt. Governor’s race. Everyone knows MAGA superstar Vernon Jones has no chance to topple Kemp, even though Jones has garnered support from many of his fellow MAGA World superstars.
This poll suggests to me that Trump, running out of time and options, is ramping up the pressure on Perdue, trying to convince him to run. I doubt this, showing even with Trump’s endorsement, Perdue would likely have to endure a nasty campaign and runoff, will get him to primary Kemp.
Trump may be popular right now among Republicans, but if he continues to wage war against his supposed Republican enemies, that popularity will dwindle – indeed Trump’s popularity is already dwindling. In Georgia, Trump is partially responsible for flipping our two Senate seats to the Democrats with his repeated claims that our elections are “rigged.” His popularity will completely evaporate if he helps turn the Governor’s Mansion Blue too.