Kemp uses Georgia voting law to try to win back Trump and his base

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Not all Republicans signed. Debbie Dooley, a conservative activist in Georgia, said the Republican base remembered Mr. Kemp’s refusal of Mr. Trump’s request to call a special session to address the results of the presidential election, and that she remained eager to punish him for what she saw as a failure. to thoroughly investigate allegations of fraud.

“He hopes Trump voters forget that he was a coward,” she said. “He undermined us at every turn in the electoral fraud investigation, and now because he speaks harshly about MLB, Delta and Coke, he thinks we’ll forgive him. We won’t.

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The most recent poll, conducted before Mr Kemp signed the voting bill, showed that 15-30% of Georgia Republicans disapproved of his tenure as governor, largely because of his performance in the election. 2020.

The new law Mr Kemp is defending makes it harder to acquire a postal vote, creates new restrictions and complications for voting, and gives Republican lawmakers new power over the electoral process. It drew fierce criticism from local businesses like Coca-Cola and Delta, and prompted Major League Baseball to move its All-Star Game out of suburban Atlanta in protest.

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Mr Kemp used the blame to set the Republican base on fire. He has made little effort to calm tensions with some of his state’s most important business leaders, and said baseball executives have “given in to fear, political expediency and liberal lies” by deciding to relocate the All-Star Game. Through it all, he has positioned himself as a fierce defender of Georgian sovereignty, claiming that “Georgians will not be intimidated”.

Mr Kemp’s adherence to electoral law appears to have contributed to his standing among Republicans in Georgia. Former Rep. Doug Collins, Mr. Trump’s preferred intra-party rival for governor, is now instead leaning toward a Senate candidacy for 2022, according to state strategists and activists. The two remaining Republicans running for office are not as well known and would face a more difficult time of mounting a serious challenge to Mr Kemp, who has already racked up more than $ 6.3 million for his re-election campaign. He is now raising money on the ballot bill, wrapping his re-election website in a fundraiser to help “defend electoral integrity.”

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