Georgia’s primary results suggest there’s a limit to GOP’s Trumpism

A different face for the future GOP. (AJC Photo / Bob Andres)

A different face for the GOP of the future. (AJC Photo / Bob Andres)

Ever since Donald Trump grabbed the GOP by the throat, people have been asking whether this repudiation of the Republican “establishment” and so much party orthodoxy was an aberration or the new normal. The results of Georgia’s primary Tuesday suggest the Trump phenomenon might be contained.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, that “moderate” member of the Washington “establishment,” got 77 percent of the vote. In fact, he was the choice on nearly as many ballots as Trump was on March 1, even though less than half as many people voted this time.

Two Republican congressmen, Doug Collins and Barry Loudermilk, drew four primary opponents apiece for such sins as voting for John Boehner to be speaker of the House — when, contrary to so much rhetoric, there was no viable alternative, as we saw last year when Boehner finally stepped down and none of the rabble rousers actually wanted the job. Both incumbents cleared 60 percent of the vote in deep-red districts. Collins’ win was particularly impressive, considering one of his rivals was hard-right former Rep. Paul Broun.

Not a single Republican legislator lost a primary race, although two representatives are headed to runoffs: Tom Dickson of Cohutta, who missed an outright win by 16 votes, and John Yates of Griffin, who fell 51 votes short. Nine Republican state senators faced primary challengers; only one won by less than 20 percentage points.

The bottom line: In each category of state or federal race Tuesday, the combined votes of Republican incumbents with challengers totaled at least two-thirds of those cast.

Those are not numbers that scream “anti-incumbent year” or “angry electorate.”

They suggest instead that the “movement” Trump claims to lead isn’t coherent enough to exist beyond his outsize personality. And even that tends to be overstated. In what was essentially a five-man race by then, Trump won Georgia’s primary with 39 percent of the vote, which would have consigned him to a runoff in these other races. Another way to look at it is that the non-Trump vote was 61 percent — much closer to the percentage Republican incumbents won across the state Tuesday.

All of this should be enough to give pause to some of those (OK, us) who are wondering if the Republican Party as we’ve known it has been changed forever.

Of course, a Trump win in November would put him in a position for a far more extensive remake of the party. But a loss, coupled with a lack of throw-out-the-bums results so far, and not only in Georgia, would have to raise the question of whether the “movement” is about more than himself.

All those jumping aboard the “Trump train” out of convenience or party loyalty might want to keep that in mind. While it’s possible Trump will win in November, it’s also possible he’ll lose and go away, and the GOP he leaves behind will be left to answer for the ways it changed to accommodate and rationalize him.

The GOP as a whole certainly needs to make changes. But maybe it needs to change to act and sound more like Doug Collins, not like Donald Trump.

Reader Comments 0

141 comments
Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

There may just be enough revulsion for the corrupt, freakish, America-hating Obama regime and the perpetually dishonest and scummy Clinton gang to get Trump elected.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

A few years later I imagine "we had to destroy the country in order to save it" will be the preferred excuse, for those left to hear it.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Half of "Americans" get checks from the other half, one in five households is on public assistance, and the debt is $19 trillion.

The destruction...er, "fundamental transformation" is proceeding nicely.

And Trump had nothing to do with any of it.

quickdigits
quickdigits

All these protests and rallies against Trump, people carrying signs like "F#&#K Trump" and calling him a racist, etc. People with bats hitting the police....Violence galore.....Excuse me, but it seems to me those Protesting Trump Are Themselves, Full of Hate!!!

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@quickdigits Full of intolerance.   People who preach tolerance for minorities, sexual preferences, criminality, and illegals, have no tolerance for free speech, if the speech doesn't mirror their thoughts.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Uneducated leftists unable to express themselves (what a parent of a three-year-old calls "using your words") can do nothing but throw a tantrum. They are losers who can't even pay for their own condoms and can't wait to vote for free stuff.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Violent protest, attacks on speech, and Obama-sanctioned IRS attacks on groups that don't support his liberal fascist agenda.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@quickdigits My guess is a large percentage of the California protesters at Trump events are illegals.

Where is ICE when you need them?

Plus, their violence fits that the Left owns violent protest.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@quickdigits Trump invited violence with his earlier speeches..don't whine now when people push back...violently..

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@BuckeyeGa @quickdigits take off the blinders why don't you?

Trump made remarks in a private gathering where intruders were intent on disturbance.

What you have in situations like San Diego is organized groups coordinated by paid promoters, funded by such as George Soros (spit), made up of many illegals who don't want to be sent home, whose goal is to make America completely different from the founding.

Their plan for more free stuff and a free ride has been demonstrated as failure, just as many of them are personally.

November will confirm just how sick of these people we really are.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Pity the poorly educated, insufficiently socialized Democrats--they hear words they don't like and can only react violently.

They're no doubt victims of public schooling and/or grew up without a mom and a dad.

nick1234
nick1234

True there are limits to the Trump phenomenon, but a couple of things to take into account. First, people tend to be unhappy with Congress as an institution, but like their own representative. 


Also, due basically one party rule in GA, there were a lot of Democrats (I am one) who voted in the Republican primary on Tuesday because of local elections. Most of us, voted for the most moderate sensible sounding Republican, who in most cases tended to be the incumbent.

Michael Mancini
Michael Mancini

There is plenty of Anti- Hillaryism and Anti-Establishmentism to elect him.

Michael Mancini
Michael Mancini

I'm counting on the educated part of your response to keep Hillary from winning..however, I do concede that the rigging of the system trumps the American people's votes.

Les Bouska
Les Bouska

But it won't happen. There are simply too many educated Americans for a trump win.

Lou Harrisn
Lou Harrisn

Les Bouska Yes , lets look at some Hillary foreign policy, shall we? Invasion of Iraq, George Bush,43. Endorsed by both parties to include the signature of Hillary Clinton. The Russian Reset via- Hillary Clinton. Overthrow of Libya, which is now a Terror Disneyland. - Hillary Clinton. Benghazi.- Hillary Clinton. Meddling into a foreign nation's elections, trying to overthrow Israel's governmant. Hillary's friends, administration and Barack Obama. The overthrow of Egyptian Government. The attempted over throw of Assad and Syria. That went well didnt it? The Fall of Yemen. The Rise of ISIS. The invasion of millions of refugees into Western Europe. Terrible Climate deals with China. Lucky our guys got out of there with their under wear Yes the educated people will never elect Hillary

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Obama's elections have proved just how many uneducated voters we have.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Most of the folks voting for Hillary in November can't even pay their own bills.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I want to believe this analysis is dead-on, but here's the sticking point:

possible he’ll lose and go away, and the GOP he leaves behind will be left to answer for the ways it changed to accommodate and rationalize him.


Does that ever really happen? Or does another candidate simply fine-tune the last guy's craziness and make it more user-friendly four years later?

foo2u
foo2u

Thank you for this...

I believe Elmer Fudd COULD actually win against Hills this year... but the GOP has chosen the Drumpf.

We need fresh blood and ideas at the top of both tickets.

Jim Hannas
Jim Hannas

Familiar names, political rhetoric, and party affiliation seem to be the only things that resonate with the vast majority of voters.

HIbought theRefs
HIbought theRefs

Hopefully, a few Independent candidates will file to run in the General. Enough people decide "NO WAY TRUMP" they may also want to get rid of the incumbents, too, that made it through the primaries.  Hope so, anyway. I'm sick of the current crowd of do-nothing republicans.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

And I'm stuck that that DANG DEMOCRAT, Victor Hill!

I'd rather have shin splints. 

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

"...the “movement” Trump claims to lead isn’t coherent enough to exist beyond his outsize personality."

I believe it's more backlash against the Obama regime, which itself was backlash against the George WMD Bush regime. The beat goes on.

Starik
Starik

@stogiefogey for the last few decades, through the Clintons, all the way past Reagan and Nixon.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 There is no comparison.


They are one and the same


The indignation you feel over the "lone wolf" McVeigh is exactly how Muslims feel when compared to their version of "lone wolfs"


They dont like it either. And the larger point remains.


Singling people out because of a shared characteristic is incredibly stupid. Saying all Muslims are terrorists and should be banned is the same as saying all white people are terrorists because of McVeigh and should be banned.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Not all Muslims are terrorists but virtually all terrorists are Muslim.

It would be stupid not to focus our efforts to vet immigrants on applicants from Muslim-dominated countries.

But don't ever bet against leftists being over-the-top stupid.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Hedley_Lammar no one has said all Muslims are terrorists.

But have said that all the terrorists have been Muslim.

You guys try to disprove that with your lone wolf comparison canard.

If a temporary stop on Muslim immigrants will help the security of the country only fools would be against it.

You decide if you want to be in the fool group.

Starik
Starik

@Wascatlady @Lil_Barry_Bailout What was Begin as observed by the British?  Russian Partisans as sen by the Nazis? Your terrorist is somebody's freedom fighter.

foo2u
foo2u

Not all republicans are seditionist klansmen, but all seditionist klansmen are republicans...

What do you propose we do about that?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@JohnnyReb @Hedley_Lammar

But have said that all the terrorists have been Muslim.

And they're wrong. And by saying so, are immeasurably helping Muslims who ARE terrorists.

I don't know how many times I have to knock that into your thick skull with a 2x4. 

But by using irresponsible terms like "Islamic Terrorism" you are helping those terrorists. You are recruiting those fence-sitters who aren't necessarily inclined to believe that the West hates them and has no use for peaceful co-existence with the Muslim world.

You're helping the terrorists. You're the domestic security threat. And you're too thick to grasp it, no matter how often it's patiently pointed out to you..


T
T

I guess the Lords Resistance army is also Muslim.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Lil_Barry_Bailout @Visual_Cortex @JohnnyReb @Hedley_Lammar

The second thing. Of course the first thing is entirely in your imagination.

Calling out religious extremists, whether such folk claim to be Christian, Muslim, Jew or Hindu, is not "smearing people of faith." 

And gun owners are not some protected class who are more or less wired from birth to own bang-shootie things.


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@T

the Irish Republican Army. and that Ulster Defence Association.

Both of 'em soooo muslim-y it makes your head spin.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Visual_Cortex @JohnnyReb @Hedley_Lammar Barry has been howling that Gitmo is a recruiting tool for terrorists organizations sine before he came into office.

Yet a review of the last 100 or so recruiting tools/video's, etc. for ISIS found zero, that would be zip references to Gitmo.

You guys couldn't be more wrong if you tried.

And No, I don't have a linkie.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

The Democrat-founded KKK? The KKK Robert Byrd was a member of?

LOLOLOLOLOL!!!

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Just heard Obama on the tube telling a crowd when he exits the White House he will be "community organizer," just a little more famous.

Oh goody!

We are never going to be rid of the guy.

He will never shut up.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb  We are never going to be rid of the guy.


Have you seen his poll numbers. He would be re elected President if he could run again. Its fun to contrast them with Dubya's when he left office


He is still a young fellow. Based on your grey hair comment you might as well get used to him being around the rest of your days.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Dog doo is superior to Obama in that it eventually dries up and blows away.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

So a majority of people still like having the government give them free stuff?

Shocker.

Losers like Obama. And he's transformed the USA into Loser Nation.

Astropig
Astropig

@Hedley_Lammar @JohnnyReb


Isn't he a smoker? If he hasn't quit,we'll be rid of him sooner than you might think.


(That's not political,that's math)

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Lil_Barry_Bailout

a majority of people still like having the government give them free stuff?

So when a majority of Americans happen to like them some Gooper Preznit, that means... what, again?

Oh, wait wait, don't tell me!

It's because a majority of those people still like having the government give them free stuff!

Hey, thinking the worst of your fellow man at all times is fun. I should do this more often. I totally see the appeal.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Hedley_Lammar @JohnnyReb Obama's approval numbers have long been recognized as skewed by political correctness.

People are concerned when asked of his popularity that if they say No they will be labeled a racist.

His true number is the Direction of the Country which has been overwhelmingly bad.

If the truth was known, his popularity is maybe one notch above the plague. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Lil_Barry_Bailout @Visual_Cortex

Just cuz you don't call it "free stuff" when it's benefits that help folks like you, doesn't keep it from being "free stuff."

You own that term. 

Might as well own it for realz.