Primary elections in states across the U.S. show that former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Republican candidates still holds some sway, but his Brad Raffensperger proves Trump’s backing does not guarantee victory. Georgia Incumbent Secretary Of State Brad Raffensperger held off a challenge from his Trump-backed opponent, Rep. Jody Hice, in Georgia’s Republican secretary of state primary Tuesday night. Raffensperger became the most notable Secretary of State after his refusal to overturn Trump’s 2020 election defeat infuriated the former president.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Raffensperger had 51.9 percent of the vote, while Hice had 33.8 percent. Two lesser-known candidates — former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle and former Judge T.J. Hudson — were in single digits. The 51.9 percent was enough for media outlets to call to election for Raffensperger. In Georgia candidates must get more than 50 percent of the vote, to avoid a runoff, which is required under Georgia state law if no candidate wins an outright majority.
Veteran Republican consultant Chip Lake told NBC Raffensperger’s win was astonishing because, early last year, internal GOP polls showed him pulling less than a fifth of the GOP primary vote.
“This is the biggest political comeback I’ve seen in this state,” Lake said.
Trump had a lot invested in replacing Raffensperger who had been caught in the crosshairs of Trump and his allies since Joe Biden emerged victorious in the state, winning by just under 11,800 votes, and he explicitly turned down a demand by Trump to overturn the election results. What does this do for the influence Trump has on the party and with voters and with his dwindling inability to deliver victory.
It may to be too early to throw dirt of Trump reign of terror and unbelievable hold of GOP, but we could be seeing the beginning of the end.
According to former Republican consultant Tucker Martin, “At this moment in time, he still dominates the party. You can’t deny that. But you can see around the edges that the tide’s beginning to recede.”
One has to ask if Trump’s stranglehold of the party maintains if his endorsements begin to mean less and less. Will they continue to fear and blindly follow him if the treat of Trump endorsing someone against them doesn’t guarantee the loss of their seat? Are Republican Party candidates eyeing the 2022 midterms beginning to question if they can count on Donald Trump endorsements? We will have to wait and see. Black Westchester will be watching.