Ahead of Georgia’s 2022 Republican primary for governor, Donald Trump has levied his support for David Perdue, a proponent of the former president’s election integrity lies, over Governor Brian Kemp. Trump favored Kemp in 2018, but has developed a tarnished opinion since, calling him a “complete and total disaster on election integrity” and saying Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams might make for a better governor.
Trump and Kemp’s relationship started to fray in 2020, but fell apart when the former president pressured public officials in states where vote tallies were tight to overturn the results, citing bogus claims about widespread election fraud.
Now, Trump is stoking fears of fraud in the upcoming Georgia election, suggesting it’s the only way Kemp could win — despite the voter suppression law Kemp signed, inspired by Trump’s prior false claims of rigging.
An InsiderAdvantage/FOX 5 Atlanta poll conducted on December 6th showed the impact of Trump’s Perdue endorsement on 500 registered likely Republican primary voters. Participants were asked who they’d vote for if the Georgia Republican Primary were to happen that day, responding 41% for Brian Kemp, 22% for David Perdue, 15% between the other two candidates, and 22% undecided.
The survey then told participants that Trump endorsed Perdue and asked again. The distribution shifted dramatically, with 34% supporting Kemp and 34% supporting Perdue.
GA GOP Gov primary poll (Fox5/InsiderAdvantage)
Brian Kemp 41%
David Perdue 22%
Vernon Jones 11%
Kandiss Taylor 4%
Respondents were *then* told Perdue has Trump's support and were asked their preference again:
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) December 8, 2021
While Kemp didn’t debunk Trump’s claims of election fraud in November 2020, he refused to aid in overturning the results. But Perdue has embraced Trump’s claims about voting integrity, recently saying he would not have certified Georgia’s election results had he been governor. He also joined a lawsuit challenging the results of the 2020 election in Georgia, citing false claims of voter fraud.
Georgia is certain to offer insights to the future of American democracy, as results from its primary will demonstrate how willing the split Republican base is to double down on Trump’s election lies.
Image by John Bazemore / AP