Early County News

Campaign on life support, the Perdue campaign goes scorched earth

From the Front Line



David Perdue’s campaign is on life support. The former senator had a hypothesis: “Governor Kemp is deeply unpopular, and, if a credible challenger emerges, the state will rally behind the challenger.”

That was the Perdue rationale – that Kemp could not unite the Party and that the Governor should step aside for someone who, by stepping on the field, could deliver more unity and, therefore, a victory against Stacey Abrams.

Boy, has that been proven wrong.

There is certainly still animus against Kemp, sure. Attend virtually any Republican meeting, and you will find a contingent that feels he did not “do enough” in 2020 – though, how “do enough” gets defined is certainly a spectrum. However, the growing number of Republicans around Georgia instead focus on the Governor’s conservative record – including a top economy, low taxes, passing the Heartbeat Bill, keeping the state open, standing for SB 202, and current leadership on a host of conservative issues.

Georgia conservatives like Kemp. And, he’s increasingly reminding them of why they once loved him.

And, Perdue’s candidacy has done nothing to change that dynamic.

Unable to build on any argument other than being “Trump’s pick,” chatter in conservative corners has gone from bemoaning Perdue’s entrance to calling for him to get out of the race – especially as poll numbers show Kemp with an increasing lead and Perdue posting anemic fundraising totals.

In response, Perdue has given up pretense of being the “unity” candidate and instead is slamming Kemp as “failed” and scrambling for “wedge” issues that either are outside of the purview of the Governor – like Buckhead City – or are half-baked, like the income tax. He has taken to saying Kemp “fought Trump,” a statement that is blatantly not true. Former President Trump even weighed in on the Buckhead issue as an excuse to bash Kemp.

Perdue has even taken to attacking the Governor’s landing of Rivian for the state’s largest economic development deal in history.

The scorched earth route – with no shortage of flailing and false attacks – will only accelerate in early March when Donald Trump Jr. comes to the state – holding four events likely aimed at eviscerating the Governor.

Continued division offered by Perdue – now thoroughly proven wrong that the state cannot rally around its Governor – is what continues to hold back momentum from a 2022 rout. With Biden’s poll numbers at historic lows, Republicans in Georgia should be preparing for historic wins. Instead, they are bracing to repair burned bridges and mend wounds in the lead-up to a consequential match-up versus Stacey Abrams.

With Perdue’s only path to victory a scorched earth campaign of absolutely trashing the state’s Governor, tearing down Georgia’s accomplishments, and dividing the state further, it is time to ask, with qualifying mere days away – is it really worth it?

Cole Muzio serves as Executive Director of Frontline Policy Council, a conservative organization advocating for Christian values in state government. The editor of this paper serves on his board.

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