Georgia Governor Brian Kemp would lose his state’s Republican gubernatorial primary to conservative Rep. Doug Collins if the election were this week (early January 2021), according to top-level pollster The Trafalgar Group.
The Trafalgar Group founder Robert Cahaly tweeted the results of his company’s poll Saturday. Per the GOP pollster, Collins is ahead of Kemp 46.2% to 24.5%, with about 7% leaning toward Kemp and 6% leaning toward Collins. Over 15% were undecided.
The state’s next gubernatorial race will be in 2022.
Kemp’s popularity among Republicans appears to have taken a hit following Georgia’s certification of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election results. Democratic nominee Joe Biden upset incumbent Republican President Donald Trump there, winning the state by 11,000 votes.
Although Trump claimed fraud, nothing was found after multiple investigations and recounts so Kemp had no choice but to certify the results. Moreover, Biden’s win was anything but a surprise to campaign experts because poll numbers suggested Georgia would be very close. In fact, a few top tier pollsters would have probably made Biden the slight favorite there.
About 8 weeks after Biden defeated Trump, Democrats flipped the U.S. Senate thanks to runoff wins in Georgia by both Democratic candidates who won their races by significantly larger margins than Biden. Those wins only strengthen the fact Biden’s victory was legitimate.
But, conservatives in Georgia will likely still balk at the result and aim to replace Kemp with Trump-backed Conservative Doug Collins.
Not a good idea for the GOP.
Democrats have won three big races in a row in Georgia, defeating Trump and two senate candidates who were strong supporters of his. And to add insult to injury, all had a slight advantage as incumbents.
Should Stacey Abrams become the state’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee again and Georgia Republicans put an ultra-conservative, Trump-backed newbie like Collins against her, the GOP could be in for another rude awakening.
- Georgia is trending left. No, it’s not blue but recent returns suggest it definitely purple instead of red. By November 2022, Georgia could be even less conservative than it was in January 2021 when Democrats swept the Senate runoffs. The Atlanta suburbs will continue to expand and a lot of new young people will be eligible to vote.
A strong conservative, like Collins, may no longer be electable there.
- As the Republican nominee, Brian Kemp was taken the distance in the 2018 Georgia Gubernatorial Election thanks to a dynamic challenge from Democratic foe Stacey Abrams; It was the closest governor’s race in that state since 1966.
Of the approximate 3.9 million votes cast, Kemp bested Abrams by 1.4 percentage points, 50.2 to 48.8.
The defeat for Democrats was a win of sorts for them because it confirmed Republicans were losing their dominance in the great Empire State of the South.
Moreover, Democrats were working at a disadvantage as those in power created obstacles for Georgia citizens, particularly people of color, to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
Should voting processes in Georgia maintain some semblance of fairness, a strong conservative will have difficulty winning a gubernatorial race or any statewide election.
- Stacey Abrams, perhaps not a well-known candidate in 2018, is a mainstream political figure these days and is very popular in the Democratic Party because she’s largely credited with getting out the vote that have resulted in Democratic wins over Trump and two incumbent Republican senators. As a result, she’s going to be a familiar face and well-funded, and will energize a lot of voters; Especially liberals and left-leaning independents.
… And we’ve seen what happens when liberals in Georgia are energized.
Abrams vs Collins?
Do Republicans really want to take their chances by running a conservative like Collins? Someone like him will only further energize liberal voters and won’t attract middle-of-the-road Georgians. And, let’s face it, Georgia Republicans need all the help they can get.
But giddy Republicans, all too eager to teach Kemp a lesson for simply playing by the rules, will probably nominate a strong conservative in 2022 in place of the governor.
… And they’ll lose yet again.