The recriminations about the likely loss of two GOP incumbents in Georgia will ripple through Republican circles in a display of total acrimony. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but the strong message from D.C. Republicans will be: If not for Donald Trump complaining about election fraud, this would’ve gone differently. And they’re right — you could say that about anything in the past five years! — though possibly not in the sense they mean.
What I heard repeatedly from people on the ground in Georgia was: Holding out hope that their re-election would make some difference for Trump motivated more pro-Trump voters to get out for David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler than the stolen-election talk turned off. Perdue and Loeffler knew they needed those voters, and they talked the best populist game they could — they just couldn’t get enough of them to win without Trump himself on the ballot. It’s telling that the outcome for Perdue,