The Georgia election results showed that voters weren't going to support the so-called "big lie" that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election and that it was somehow stolen from him. What is frequently being ignored in the post-mortem of the Republican Primary is that Trumpism, in general, was also rejected by voters.
Writing for CNN.com, White House correspondent John Harwood explained that Gov. Brian Kemp's success over former Sen. David Perdue shows a party that tends to manufacture a culture war for the sake of an election. The "controversies," he wrote, have become "a substitute for materially improving the lives of their constituents."
The idea of a "rigged" or stolen election isn't the top issue for voters as November approaches. Economic issues are cited as among the top problems that people face, Gallup said. Among the idea of economic issues are the high cost of rent and the cost of gas. The other top issues include access to abortion, which for many women, is considered an economic issue as well as a civil rights issue.
Perdue's whole campaign revolved around the so-called "big lie," and he lost by such large numbers that even Donald Trump backed away from him in the end.
"Yet pre-primary polls made clear that damaging democracy with lies about 2020 wouldn’t be enough for Perdue to oust Kemp. So Perdue tried a gambit directly at odds with the livelihoods of Georgia workers," wrote Harwood. "Specifically, he attacked the largest economic development project in Georgia history. Perdue decried an agreement Kemp reached with Rivian, a manufacturer of electric-powered pickup trucks, to offer tax incentives for a $5 billion plant that would create 7,500 jobs.
Perdue attacked it as a "woke California company" trying to make money off of people. It's the same kind of attack that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has endeavored in his targeting of Disney, one of the largest employers in the state.
The Trump era's GOP brand of populism continues to gain traction among conservatives, but it blocks modern global societies, tolerance and inclusion that has grown among the majority of Americans in the past two decades.
"As a matter of culture and economic status, that collision exacerbates the anger and alienation that have fueled Trump’s assault on American democracy," Harwood continued. "As evenly divided as the country remains politically, the older, rural, overwhelmingly White red-state voters he has galvanized keep falling further economically behind their younger, more diverse, blue-state counterparts in growing metropolitan areas."
He noted that of the 472 counties won by Hillary Clinton added up to 64 percent of Americans. The 2,584 counties carried by Donald Trump in 2016 made up just 36 percent of the country. The same happened to Trump in 2020, when the president lost by just under 8 million votes. All of Trump's promises to help the American people's economic woes were complete failures. In Joe Biden's economy, the unemployment rate has slowly decreased but the country is still fighting to come back from the disaster of the COVID-19 crisis.
Republican governors, by contrast, are taking credit for any economic successes attempting to lure big businesses to their states. Kemp tried to bring international business to the state. Perdue spent his time in the Senate making stock trades that ultimately earned him the honor of the most trades in the history of the U.S. Senate in a year.
“There are very few people who will object to a large number of high-paying jobs coming into their community, whether they’re making electric vehicles or solar panels or BMWs,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster. “This is the very definition of a pocketbook issue for rural areas that have been struggling economically. The governing wing of the Republican Party will never turn away from that.”