Now that the midterm elections are over, and we can pause for a few days to reflect on the races, several things come to the front as themes we should have all recognized. Hopefully, the Republicans will have learned this painful lesson and avoid the mistakes in 2024.
First, those Georgia and Washington Republicans who had any sense of the Republican electorate in Georgia knew that electing Herschel Walker was a Quixotic pursuit from the time Walker won the nomination. It was evident that they knew Walker’s campaign would be a “dumpster fire” and the Washington money distributors did not put any money into the race from the beginning. And it was painfully evident that Brian Kemp did not want anything to do with Walker because he did associate himself or mention Walker in his general election race against Stacey Abrams. The fact that over 200,000 Republicans voted for Kemp and did not vote for Walker in the general election shows that Kemp was smart to avoid any association with Walker. Kemp’s endorsement of Walker in the run-off election was “a day late and a dollar short. Although it was a noble cause, the horse we were riding could not get us to a windmill.
Second, Donald Trump did Georgia a grave disservice, again, by convincing Walker to run and endorsing him. Walker’s son said that Trump called Walker “several” times exhorting Walker to run. Walker refused at first, but Trump finally wore him down by painting a rosy picture of an easy win.
It was reported that Walker’s whole family advised him against running and cited his past run-ins with the law and allegations of domestic violence. This Trump disservice was in addition to the debacle Trump caused in the last Georgia Senate run-off election in January of 2021. Trump and his attorney, Linn Wood, told the Republican electorate not to vote because the system was rigged. That debacle is the reason we have two leftist, socialist U.S. Senators and now we are saddled with the most rabid leftist of the two for 6 more years.
Thirdly, if we had nominated any one of the candidates who ran against Walker in the primary, I speculate that we would have won the election without a runoff. The fact that Walker, even with his dumpster fire campaign took Warnock to a run-off and lost by only two percentage points, shows how weak Warnock was. If the money distributing Republican elite in Washington had gotten behind Kelvin King, the U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, in the primary and defeated Walker, we would have had a cake walk into the Senate seat.
Republicans must wake up and start playing the game the way the Democrats do. They pulled out all stops to get their vote out – ballot harvesting, door knocking, phone banking, social media blitzes, and media advertising with powerful, no holds barred, negative, personal attack ads. When will the Republicans stop being the “nice guys” and start playing hardball?
In politics, Leo Durocher was right, “nice guys finish last”.