“Ugly,” “Costly,” and “Bruising”: Brian Kemp and David Perdue Start Their “Scorched-Earth Primary”
After Donald Trump endorsed David Perdue in his challenger bid against Brian Kemp, a new FOX 5 Atlanta poll shows that the race between Kemp and Perdue is a “dead heat” at 34%-34% when GOP primary voters are informed about Trump’s support for Perdue.
While Trump’s endorsement of Perdue escalated current GOP infighting, the reality is both Kemp and Perdue would make life worse for Georgia families. Kemp has refused to expand Medicaid and underfunded public schools, while Perdue used his office to vote to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions and has a track record of self-dealing and shipping jobs overseas.
Meanwhile, die-hard Trump loyalist Steve Bannon added to the chaos by saying, “There’s no difference between Kemp and Perdue,” ripping Perdue as a “disaster.”
Additionally, the Washington Post reported that one Georgia Republican told them: “This will be the ugliest, nastiest race this state has ever seen. It is hyper-personal on both sides. Friendships, very long friendships, will be ruined and never recovered over this.”
“The new polling numbers confirm what we already knew: Brian Kemp and David Perdue, with Donald Trump by his side, are on a nasty collision course that will leave the eventual nominee in tatters and even more out-of-touch with everyday Georgians,” said DGA Deputy Communications Director Sam Newton.
Here’s what people are saying about the brutal primary:
- New York Times: “Mr. Perdue’s decision to try to knock out a fellow Georgia Republican in 2022 is also sure to ignite an ugly — and costly — intraparty war.”
- Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Stephen Fowler: “It’s setting up to be a really scorched-earth primary that’s testing an already fractured GOP.”
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The contest between the two rivals promises to be caustic and costly, dividing the state GOP at a time when Democrats are unified behind Abrams.”
- CNN: “A match-up between Kemp and Perdue could not only upend Georgia’s governor race but split the GOP at a time when the party’s dominance in the state has been threatened by recent electoral wins by Democrats.”
- Associated Press: “Kemp [is] promis[ing] an all-out brawl.”
- Georgia Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan: “It is going to be a political civil war here in Georgia.”
- Georgia Republican Eric Tanenblatt: “… we’ve never seen anything like this.”
- Conservative Political Commentator Erick Erickson: “This divides the Georgia Republicans and gives Abrams clear sailing … Abrams is the only winner in this move.”
- Republican Pollster Matt Towery: “It’s going to be a precarious road for Brian Kemp.”
- New York Magazine: “A bruising and expensive GOP primary could do real damage to whomever survives it, turning what a Kemp adviser described as Perdue’s ‘lapdog’ campaign into a spoiler one too.”
- Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: “A Kemp-Perdue primary will help nobody more than Stacey Abrams … Whoever wins the primary will be handicapped against Ms. Abrams, who will have a united party.”