Georgia Runoff Highlights Republican Concerns Over Trump and Excitement Surrounding DeSantis | CNN Politics

CNN — Herschel Walker wins the runoff with incumbent Democrat Senator. Raphael Warnock could count on Republicans flocking to Georgia between now and December 6, some Republicans say. Many are wondering if this should include former President Donald Trump, who is undergoing a re-examination of the party’s core position amid the interim results of the Republican party’s low approval ratings. “The first question I got from Tuesday night was, ‘Will Trump mess this up?’ The former president helped bring Georgia football legend Walker, a longtime family friend of Trump’s family, to the Senate race last year, but was ultimately advised to campaign elsewhere during the general election, two people familiar with the matter said on CNN. said to Some Republicans are still tormented by President Trump’s Georgia state, with Democrats winning both seats in the 2021 runoff and controlling the Senate. At the time, President Trump wrote his election speech falsely claiming that voting fraud was rampant in Georgia and Republican officials opposed him. Walker allies feared that Trump’s appearance ahead of the midterm elections would result in the loss of important voting rights in independents, suburban women, and battlefield nations. Those concerns remain as both Walker and Warnock enter the runoff period after losing more than 50% of the vote on Tuesday. Some Georgia Republicans have said Trump’s decision to proceed with the 2024 presidential campaign, which is expected next week, will help win what should be most important to all Republicans right now: the party wins a Senate majority. Trump aides sent out invitations to a November 15 event in Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, which the former president hopes will undermine the momentum of Florida governor and potential presidential contender Ron DeSantis, who won re-election this week. In fact, while debates arose over whether Trump should campaign for Walker in the future, some Republicans said they would warmly welcome the arrival of DeSantis. “We need every Republican representative who can get into the state to surround Herschel. I think. [Virginia Gov. Glenn] Youngkin or DeSantis is more suitable for the softer Republicans or independents in the suburbs that we have to reveal,” said Ralph Reed, president of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. Reed later said that he thought Trump could help increase turnout among voters in the province of Georgia. [Walker] Movement.” “I’ll let them fix it,” he said. Walker campaign manager Scott Paradise did not respond to a request for comment. Anyone close to the Walker campaign said DeSantis would be “a huge draw if we could get him.” Despite the fact that Brian Kemp is across the border and has recently been seeking candidates from New York, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania, Kemp won his re-election bid on Tuesday, beating Democrat Stacey Abrams for the second time. And the governor of Georgia told his allies he wanted to help Walker in every way he could, and one person briefed on the conversation said: “DeSantis will help, Youngkin will help. Kemp will help. I think this is the biggest draw in Georgia,” said Erickson. As a Republican knowing about DeSantis’s political career, DeSantis’ interest in campaigning for Walker is a concern. The Arizona and Nevada senators said “it depends on what happens to the other two races.” Both primaries are too close, but if the Republicans win one of the primaries, control of the Senate passes to Georgia. This person “at that point” “It becomes the center of the political world.” A spokesperson for DeSantis did not respond to a request for comment on his future travel plans. DeSantis supports Republicans on a tough battlefield and is controversial like Kari Lake in Arizona and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania. campaigned for a candidate with the ., but made no such effort during the midterm elections to help Walker amid headlines about the former Heisman Trophy winner’s turbulent past and personal issues. 20 miles from the border DeSantis also did not participate in the Republican fight in Fitch State two years ago for Republicans to lose twice in the Senate runoff. But a Republican fundraiser close to DeSantis said he would travel across the border if he believed the Florida governor could help Walker. “He’s a Republican leader and he wants Republicans to take over the Senate,” the fundraising event said. But if DeSantis appears in Georgia, Trump allies say it will be exponentially more difficult to convince the former president not to come to Georgia. Despite the frustration of those who want an environment that doesn’t get in the way for Walker, Trump has continued to insult DeSantis in recent days in a statement Thursday that referred to Walker as an “ordinary Republican governor.” “Loyalty and Class” who refused to rule out his own White House bid. Those attacks will only intensify if a Florida Republican runs for Walker, a Trump aide said. “conceived [Trump] Herschel said, ‘Please stay away.’ He’s going to go ballistic,” said this person. A Trump adviser, who requested anonymity to discuss the internal deliberation, said one of the ideas floating around is to get the former president to help Walker financially with a generous check. According to federal election data, Trump’s MAGA Inc. Super PAC gave out $16.4 million to candidates in the last week of the 2022 cycle, and at the end of September had over $100 million in his fundraising committee overall. “He’s looking for a way to salvage this moment and one of the things he can do is help Walker win,” Trump’s aide said Tuesday, referring to the overwhelming Republican outcome and the disastrous defeat of Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. . Trump endorsed the Republican Senate primary. Trump’s failure to leave Georgia as the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential nomination suggests that Trump is responsible for the vulnerable, he said. ” he added. Republicans – A poisonous message at the outset of the presidential campaign. Michael Caputo, a 2016 Trump campaign adviser who is close to the former president, said the president should do as much as possible to raise money for Walker. “It has to be offset by the Walker side,” he said. From my point of view, the best thing Trump can do is donate and raise a lot of money because Herschel can,” Caputo said. According to two familiar sources, Trump’s political team has been discussing how best to help Walker since it became clear that a Georgia senator would run to the runoff, both sources said nothing has been firmly decided. Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told CNN: “President Trump is in a good position to win after Herschel Walker advances to the final with President Trump’s support of 220-16.” . Sensitivity to Trump’s visit to Georgia stems from his campaign to form GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler were two Republicans fighting for survival in the runoff two years ago. On the eve of the 2021 runoff, Trump tore apart Republican officials in Georgia who refused to challenge the 2020 election results, falsely claiming he won the state and campaigning for Kemp to oppose incumbent Republicans. He promised to return when he was re-elected. , which Trump later accomplished by recruiting Purdue to challenge Kemp in the primary. Republicans in Washington terrorized the rally at the time, deeply concerned that Trump’s intense focus on election fraud and various attacks on Republican officials would lower turnout among his key supporters the next day. In the end, Loeffler and Perdue lost the runoff, leading Warnock and Jon Ossof to the Senate and passing a narrow majority to the Democrats. This episode is back to tease Trump as Republicans face potentially the same scenario as in 2021. Mark Kelly was re-elected in Arizona and Republican Adam Laxalt was ousted from the incumbent Democrat Senator. Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada. According to Friday morning’s vote count, Laxalt currently has a very thin lead and Kelly is over 100,000 votes ahead of his Republican contender. Republicans are less concerned that he will deliver a turnout-lowering message, but this time they are concerned that Trump will ultimately get in the way for Walker. Voter Walker must win. “Herschel should do better with suburban Kemp voters and independents,” Reed said. “About 5% of the voters who went to Kemp didn’t go to Herschel and he should get at least 1 in 4.”

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