Georgia Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan on Thursday said associations with former President Trump hurt GOP candidates in this week’s midterm elections.
While Republicans are still expected to capture the House, their majority is likely to be smaller than expected. The Senate, meanwhile, is still up in the air after several nominees endorsed by the former president failed to win their races.
Duncan pointed in particular to Georgia as evidence.
“There’s this … Trump drag factor, right? Everybody who’s tightly associated with Donald Trump — and we watched it play out all over the country in these races — certainly watched it play out in Georgia, I mean, the drag factor is tangible,” he said on “CNN This Morning.”
“We’ve seen it play out all over the country. The Trump drag factor is real and it’s only getting worse,” Duncan said.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is projected to win a second term over Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams, with his lead standing at about 7 points on Thursday. But the state’s Senate race is headed to a runoff after neither Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) nor GOP challenger Herschel Walker secured more than 50 percent of the vote.
“Trump got fired Tuesday night and it’s more obvious than ever republicans are ready to move on. If we want to win back the White House in 2024 we must do better!” Duncan wrote on Twitter Thursday.
Outside of Georgia, Mehmet Oz (R), with whom Trump campaigned in the closing days of the race, is projected to lose the Senate race in Pennsylvania, while Trump-endorsed Blake Masters (R) trails in the Arizona Senate race, which has not yet been called.
Trump on Tuesday said he believes he’ll get “very little” credit for boosting candidates in the midterms but that his influence will still be apparent.
On Wednesday he acknowledged the results of the midterm elections were “somewhat disappointing” but added they were still a “very big victory.”
“While in certain ways yesterday’s election was somewhat disappointing, from my personal standpoint it was a very big victory — 219 WINS and 16 Losses in the General — Who has ever done better than that?” Trump said in a post on his Truth Social platform.
But polling suggests Trump may not control the GOP as tightly as he once did. A NBC News poll released last week found a record number of Republicans support their party over the former president.