The Man Who Lost Georgia

Elections
President Trump address a campaign rally in Dalton, Ga., January 4, 2021.
(Leah Millis/Reuters)

It had been 24 years since a Democrat won Georgia’s electoral votes when Joe Biden claimed them two months ago, and the last Democrat to take a Senate race in the Peach State was Zell Miller in 2000 — a conservative who supported George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection effort. Enter Donald Trump, the man who lost Georgia.

To be sure, Trump’s stewardship of the party has had political benefits. He attracted a new set of previously disengaged voters and was able to compete in the Blue Wall states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He also made valuable gains with Latinos in Florida and Georgia. Those gains have come at a significant cost in the forms of both suburban losses and Democratic enthusiasm though. That’s why the president lost the popular vote in 2020 by over seven million votes despite receiving 74 million himself, a number that would have set a new record were it not for Biden’s performance.

Now, it appears that Jon Ossoff — who couldn’t win in a congressional swing district another Democrat won less than two years after his 2017 loss — and Raphael Warnock — who has compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, has endorsed Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s infamous “God damn America” sermon, and allegedly ran over his ex-wife’s foot with a car — will be the next two United States senators from the state of Georgia.

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How could this happen?

Trump has spent the last five years behaving abhorrently. Over the course of his presidency, that has hurt Republicans with traditionally GOP and swing voters who can’t stomach the man; That’s why he lost states like Georgia and Arizona in November. In the context of the special elections in Georgia, his baseless claims of a “stolen election” two months ago have had the dual effect of motivating Democrats and demoralizing Republicans.

Trump and his surrogates will do anything to deflect blame. They’ll say Loeffler and Perdue didn’t fight hard enough for him. They’ll blame Mitch McConnell and “the establishment,” and Brad Raffensperger.

But the truth is that this loss, much like his own last November 3, is on Donald Trump.

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