Is Donald Trump harming Georgia republicans?

With the world watching Georgia’s two runoffs for the state’s U.S. Senate seats and the dust settling on the Nov. 3 election, a comparison of the presidential race to the senate races and to the 2016 election shows that republicans who rejected Donald Trump may have played a key role in his defeat in November — a trend that could have ramifications for Georgia’s two republican senate candidates.

In statewide results, more voters chose David Perdue than chose Trump, an occurrence which repeated itself in several counties across the state. More concerning for republicans is Trump’s shrinking margins of victory in high population republican counties throughout the state.

In Cherokee County — widely regarded as the birthplace of the Tea Party movement — Trump won 68.8% of the vote this year. In 2016, Trump won 72.7% of the vote. Trump’s margin shrunk by more than three points here. Perdue’s margin of victory over Ossoff was slightly higher than Trump’s in Cherokee. Perdue was able to capture 69.2% of the vote.

Further South in Fayette County, Trump got 57.9% of the vote in 2016, but only captured 52.7% in 2020. Perdue’s margin was higher than Trump’s by a full percentage point in Fayette.

In Forsyth County, Trump won with 71.1% against Hillary Clinton in 2016, but dropped to 65.8% in 2020. That’s more than a five point drop in a county that is known to be a republican stronghold. David Perdue outperformed Trump here by just under a percentage point, garnering 66.7% of the vote.

In Hall County, Trump had 73.6% of the vote in 2016, but dropped to 70.9% in 2020. Perdue again slightly bested Trump with 71% of the vote.

Trump saw another dramatic drop in Paulding County. In 2016, Trump beat Clinton with 69% of Paulding’s vote, but in 2020, Trump mustered 63.9%, another five point drop in a staunchly conservative area of the state.

In addition to the numbers, Trump’s efforts to cast doubt on the accuracy of the election in Georgia also threatens Perdue and Loeffler’s chances at victory, with some republicans calling for a boycott of the election on social media. Trump has also lashed out at Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who has been a consistent supporter of Trump since getting elected in 2018.

In terms of the senate races, Perdue held a narrow margin of victory against Ossoff in Nov. 3 and democrat Raphael Warnock bested the republican field in the jungle primary for the seat currently held by Kelly Loeffler. The Jan. 5 runoff will not only determine the makeup of the senate, but it will also tell whether or not Loeffler and Perdue’s unwavering support of President Trump has harmed their chances of victory.

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