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Former President Donald Trump, during his weekend rally in Wyoming, pushed back against those who suggest his political demise.
“‘We’re sweeping everything. And we’ve done a good job in Georgia,’ the former president said Saturday night at a rally in Wyoming where he targeted Rep. Liz Cheney.
While many Trump-endorsed candidates won big in last week’s primaries, there’s no denying the former president suffered a crushing setback in Georgia’s GOP contests.
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Trump has spent the past year and a half crucifying Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brian Raffensperger for resisting the then president’s demands to reverse his narrow Georgia loss to the current president. Biden in the 2020 election.
But Kemp and Raffensperger ended up defeating the main challengers that Trump had endorsed and backed – with the governor crushing former Sen. David Perdue and the secretary of state overtaking Rep. Jody Hice by nearly 20 points. And Trump-backed GOP Attorney General challenger John Gordon was taken down by incumbent Chris Carr.
As Perdue became the third Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate to lose in this year’s primaries, Republican politicians and strategists say it’s far too early to begin writing the former president’s political obituary.
“The mainstream media will interpret this too much as the end of Donald Trump in the Republican Party, and it’s far from it,” former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pointed out in an interview on the show. Fox News Radio’s “Guy Benson Show”.
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Sixteen months away from the White House, Trump remains the most popular and influential politician in the Republican Party as he continues to play the kingmaker role in the GOP, endorsing dozens of candidates up and down the ballot. . And Trump repeatedly flirts with another presidential race in 2024.
Christie, a rival in the 2016 Republican primaries who has become a top Trump supporter and adviser and is eyeing another race in 2024, argued that erasing candidates endorsed by the former president in the primaries of the GOP Governor, Secretary of State, and Georgia Attorney General “show you are if he keeps looking back…he won’t be a political force in this party for very longr.“
Trump stands head and shoulders ahead of other potential 2024 GOP White House hopefuls in early public opinion polls. But that doesn’t stop potential rivals for the presidential nomination from beginning to take the necessary first steps before launching a national campaign.
“It’s a rift in the armor. You’ve had enough of it and soon something can break through the armor,” veteran Iowa Republican political consultant David Kochel told Fox News when asked about Trump’s setbacks. in Georgia. “Trump always makes decisions based on his instincts and how he feels about a particular person or how aggrieved he is by the election. There’s not a whole lot of political sense behind it.”
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And Kochel pointed to former Vice President Mike Pence, who backed Kemp and headlined a rally on the eve of the gubernatorial primaries. “It highlights the strength of Pence’s political judgment of his team going into that one,” Kochel said.
But regardless of the former president’s setback, Kochel — a veteran of many Republican campaigns for the White House — pointed out that in the upcoming GOP nomination race, “Trump is still the 800-pound gorilla, and it will be until it is no longer”.
Michael Dennehy, a longtime New Hampshire-based consultant who is also a veteran of many GOP nomination battles, told Fox News “if you’re looking at 2024, I wouldn’t say Trump is weakened at this point. I think it’s too early to say that we have to go through the rest of 2022 to fully determine the potential impact on 2024.”
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But Erick Erickson, a Georgia-based conservative radio host and nationally known blogger who supported Kemp, noted that Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial primary was a race where Trump “bet his name” and “he couldn’t win it.” ‘have “. [Perdue] on the finish line. So yeah, this one is going to sting the most.”
Looking ahead to 2024 and Trump’s eventual run for the White House, Erickson said the former president’s severe setbacks in Georgia mean “if he doesn’t have the clout now to do something like that, he will not have the weight in 2024”.
The Trump team doesn’t seem to be ringing the alarm bells at this point.
“Georgia was a unique situation, and I don’t think that says much about the power of a possible Trump campaign in 2024,” said a strategist in Trump’s political circle who requested anonymity to speak more freely. .
“All this has really proven is that a Trump endorsement alone will not save weak candidates running bad campaigns. In poll after poll, Trump himself is on the ballot is a story. totally different, because there’s not yet an ounce of polling data showing any other candidate even coming close to him,” the strategist explained.
Pence’s busy day in New Hampshire
The former vice president enjoyed his final day trip to New Hampshire, the state that has hosted the first White House primary for a century.
Pence headlined the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women’s annual fundraiser and luncheon, delivered the keynote address at the annual Rockingham County fundraising gala, hosted a panel discussion with members of New Hampshire law enforcement and met in separate meetings with young Republicans and a group of leading social conservatives.
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The former vice president also made appearances on two statewide news radio shows and on the state’s only commercial television station.
The trip to New Hampshire was Pence’s third since the end of the Trump administration. He also made several stops in Iowa, whose caucuses kick off the nominations calendar, and South Carolina, which votes third in the GOP calendar.
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New Hampshire Institute of Politics executive director Neil Levesque noted that “now is the perfect time in New Hampshire to line up for these midterms of 2022 as an excuse to be here, meet friends, launch a theme and launch a campaign”.
And he said that Pence “does everything that winning campaigns do to succeed. You start early, you start laying the groundwork, you meet the voters. And he does it well.
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