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Kemp’s standing with the rank-and-file has, improbably, improved, according to interviews with more than 30 party officials, strategists and activists here. And in his partial rehabilitation — the product of a relentless focus on so-called election integrity issues and culture war staples to excite the base — Kemp may serve as a model for dozens of Republicans elsewhere who have incurred Trump’s public wrath and are seeking to regain their standing with Republicans at home.

Kemp’s fate looms especially large in Georgia, a swing state where Trump not only was defeated by Joe Biden but saw Republicans lose both U.S. Senate seats in the state’s runoff elections in January. Fearful that Trump’s frequent criticism of Kemp could lead to a damaging primary and depress Republican turnout in a close general election — potentially a rematch with Democrat Stacey Abrams — several Georgia-based Republicans and Republicans with ties to the state have privately appealed to Trump to hold back, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversations.

“I think he wins [next year’s GOP primary] with 65, 70 percent of the vote,” Robert Lee, a Georgia-based Republican strategist, said in a crowded hall shortly after Kemp spoke on Saturday afternoon.

That assessment — widely shared here — is one that Republicans blistered by Trump elsewhere could learn from. Earlier this year, Kemp’s polling had fallen off, GOP activists in several counties reprimanded him, and it was unclear whether the governor, seeking his second term next year, could even survive a primary challenge.

On Saturday, Kemp was met by a cheering section to compete with the booing. Then, he lingered for several hours in the convention halls — shaking hands and posing for photographs.

Clint Day, a former state senator who just months ago was far more pessimistic about Kemp’s prospects, said, “I think he could be reelected.”

The proximate cause of Kemp’s improved standing is the controversial voting law Kemp championed, which, among other restrictions, makes it more difficult to cast absentee ballots. Signing it in March not only reaffirmed his conservative credentials on voting access but cast him as a central figure in the GOP’s war over the issue with Democrats and corporate America.

Joel Allen, a party official in suburban Atlanta’s 6th Congressional District, said “Kemp really did a service to himself with SB 202,” referring to the voting bill.

And while Republicans may have been disappointed in Kemp they gained a common foil in Major League Baseball, which announced that it would move its All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of the legislation. Condemnations by two Georgia-headquartered companies, Coca-Cola and Delta, gave Kemp another platform to push back against perceived excesses of corporations and the left.

Kemp has also directly inserted himself into the GOP’s broader culture wars. In fundraising appeals in recent weeks, he has seized on leading wedge issues, saying critical race theory “has NO PLACE in our Georgia classrooms,” while pillorying “cancel culture” and “’Defund the Police’ nonsense taking hold in liberal strongholds and with the Democrats in Washington, D.C.”

Meanwhile, the governor has significantly relaxed coronavirus restrictions in the state, while issuing an executive order late last month banning state agencies from requiring Covid-19 vaccine passports.

By April, Kemp’s approval rating among Georgia Republicans had climbed 15 percentage points from its post-election low, according to Morning Consult, settling at 74 percent. Internal campaign polling showed improvement from earlier this year, as well.

“I’m in a lot better standing than what the media wants to tell people I am,” Kemp said on Saturday, while otherwise declining to comment.

At a rally at the Westin Jekyll Island on Friday night, Vernon Jones, a former Democrat-turned-Trump-supporting Republican who is Kemp’s most prominent opponent so far, called Kemp a “RINO,” and Jones’ supporters were among the most vocal booing Kemp the following day. Debbie Dooley, a founder of the Tea Party movement in Atlanta who is supporting Jones, called him “the Donald Trump of Georgia,” and a vocal contingent of Jones supporters crowded around him in the convention halls.

But Jones’ own history as a Democrat, in addition to the rich opposition research file on him, is disconcerting to many Republicans in the state.

“If his opponent’s Vernon Jones, I think Brian Kemp’s going to be the nominee,” said Jay Williams, a Georgia-based Republican strategist. “He’s a former Democrat, man … Vernon Jones is the crazy uncle we’ve known for a long time.”

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The problem for the GOP, said Donna Rowe, a party official from Cobb County in the Atlanta suburbs, is that “we eat our own in the primary.”

“We’re still going to win it, but it’s going to be a bloodbath,” she said.

Kemp is not yet “out of the woods” with the base, Allen said. That was evident in the cacophony of boos he received during his remarks at the convention, a gathering that typically draws a state’s most fervent activists. The convention, one of the most widely attended in state history, featured many first-time delegates who had joined the convention largely because they believe the lie that the election was stolen from Trump.

Yet even among that far-right audience, Kemp has fared better than some other Georgia elected officials who refuted Trump’s baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud. One of them, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who along with Raffensperger did not attend the convention, recently announced he would not seek reelection. Another, Attorney General Chris Carr, was nearly drowned out by boos when addressing the crowd on Friday.

Raffensperger, however, has seen the worst of it — he not only repudiated Trump’s claims that the election was stolen, he was also closer in his office to the counting of ballots than Kemp. One of Raffensperger’s primary opponents, David Belle Isle, the former mayor of Alpharetta who Raffensperger defeated in a 2018 runoff for the nomination, distributed literature at the convention depicting Raffensperger with devil’s horns on his head. Rep. Jody Hice, who defended Trump’s effort to overturn the election and is running with his endorsement, distributed boot-shaped pins that read, “Boot Brad.”

The state party on Saturday overwhelmingly passed a resolution to censure Raffensperger.

Bruce Thompson, a Georgia state senator who had called for additional reviews of the November election, said Raffensperger is “done.” But he said the calculation surrounding Kemp has changed.

Though “the base is still pissed off,” he said, Kemp “has managed this as well as he could, as far as the pandemic and getting us open, being a governor … Brian has done a good job since the election with the economy and signing SB 202. And he’s traveling the state.”

That’s a formula that isn’t lost on Republicans who have angered Trump in other states. In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey, similarly reviled by Trump — and censured by Republicans in his state — cheered conservatives when he issued an executive order in April banning the use of some “vaccine passports.”

Just as with Ducey, Trump derided Kemp as a “RINO” at the height of their post-election feud, when the former president pledged to campaign against Kemp in 2022. As late as April, Trump was asserting that Kemp “caved to the radical left-wing woke mob.” He said he was “ashamed” he endorsed Kemp in 2018.

But the governor’s rebound may limit Trump’s options in the state. Former Rep. Doug Collins, a Trump ally, said in April that he would not run for governor, after Trump floated him as a potential contender.

“If Brian Kemp keeps doing what he’s doing, which is the election law stuff, getting through another session with Dems saying he’s a terrible person,” Williams said, “I think he’s probably one really big issue away from kind of ensuring his nomination.”



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Politics

DEAD ON ARRIVAL? GOP Blocks Dem Voting Bill with Filibuster, Leaders Say ‘Fight Not Over’

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ABRAMS CLAIM: Stacey Abrams Says She Was Nearly Blocked from Voting in Georgia Election

posted by Hannity Staff – 11.21.18

Democratic candidate in Georgia’s gubernatorial race Stacey Abrams claimed she was nearly blocked from voting this week; doubling-down on her previous comments that “voter suppression” led to an “unfair” midterm election.

Abrams was speaking with NPR when she stated an Election Day staffer attempted to stop her from casting her ballot; saying “The day I voted, I had to correct the poll worker who said I had filed for an absentee ballot.”

“I did it quietly. I didn’t turn it into a major conversation because, for me, it was about getting through the process,” she added. “But it was also emblematic to me of the privilege that I have.”

“I know the law … There are thousands, millions in Georgia who do not know what their rights are and therefore do not know that they shouldn’t have to wait in four-hour lines in the rain with their children. They shouldn’t have to worry about whether they will lose their jobs in order to exercise their democratic right to vote for their leader,” said Abrams

Read the full interview here.

ADD IT TO THE LIST: Hillary Blames Supreme Court Decision for 2016 Election Loss

posted by Hannity Staff – 9.17.19

Twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continued her worldwide excuses tour this week; asserting a Supreme Court decision regarding the “Voting Rights Act” had a major impact in her 2016 loss to Donald Trump.

“Now, I was the first person who ran for president in more than 50 years without the protection of the Voting Rights Act. And let me just say, it makes a difference,” said Clinton at an event hosted by the American Federation of Teachers.

“The latest remarks were seemingly the first time she alleged a structural disadvantage created by the Supreme Court. In 2013, the Court drew Democrats’ ire when it struck down a portion of the Voting Rights Act, which was passed in 1965 as a way to secure voting rights for African Americans,” reports Fox News

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“Voters faced intimidation and harassment that echoed some of the worst chapters in our nation’s history,” she said. “Voter ID requirements amounted to a modern-day poll tax. Voter ID requirements, which were literally made up for the purpose of preventing certain people from actually being able to cast a vote that would be counted. We saw fewer voting places, long lines, and malfunctioning equipment — again, in certain places.”

To date, Clinton has blamed her 2016 loss on the mainstream media, Facebook, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, the FBI, James Comey, misogyny, racism, local newspapers, Russia, and more.

Read the full report at Fox News.



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Crime

Joe Biden: “Police Chief Murray…Excuse Me, Police Chief Mary, Police Chief Murphy Paul”

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President Joe Biden said, “Police Chief Murray…excuse me, Police Chief Mary, Police Chief Murphy Paul,” during remarks he delivered at the White House on guns and the rise in crime on 6/23/2021.

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Critical Race Theory

General’s response to Matt Gaetz leaves him shaking his head

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The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, says he wants to know what caused the January 6th insurrection and fired back at Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) question about critical race theory.

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