Now Trump is doing it again. And you’re almost sorry for the Georgia GOP.

According to the Washington Post, Trump successfully pressured one of the GOP senators defeated in 2020, David Perdue, an incumbent Republican, Governor Brian Kemp, to challenge the nomination in next year’s election. No Republican governor has ever lost his re-election since Georgia allowed governors to run for consecutive terms. That could possibly change now. Trump is doing Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who beat Kemp by a thin margin in 2018, a huge favor. By the May primary, Democrats will take their arguments to the electorate, while Republicans will likely spend millions attacking each other. If you’re wondering why Trump is doing this, the answer is simple: he’s mad at Kemp for refusing to support Trump’s caustic claim that the 2020 elections were stolen and that he confirmed the Georgia election results. On most issues, Perdue and Kemp are almost the same. But Trump’s personal revenge campaign is apparently enough to justify the party’s threat of governor’s rule anyway. Perdue and Kemp are deeply conservative Southern Republicans. If Trump didn’t resent him so much, Kemp could be one of the most trump cards of all Republicans. In 2016 he ran an election campaign ad in which he aimed a rifle at one of his daughter’s suitors, who then emphasized the importance of the second amendment to the constitution. On immigration, Kemp said in an ad that he had a large truck in case he had to round up “criminals”. He even sued the Atlanta Mayor to end the mandate on the pandemic mask, and he has been on the forefront of new Georgia laws making voting harder.

But Kemp has an air of integrity in what is unbearable for some in the GOP – the 2020 elections.

Perdue says he refused to sign the certification of Georgia’s election results, which have been double-checked and triple-checked – findings that allegedly pushed Trump to change Georgia’s foreign minister, leading to an ongoing criminal investigation of the former president. (Trump claims he didn’t do anything wrong.)Perdue, who splits the Georgia GOP, claims Kemp split the party. And he argues that he would do better than Kemp against Abrams.

But a week after the start of the race, Perdue’s reactions to his candidacy are likely to be embarrassing. These reactions should also worry the ex-president, because if Perdue loses, Trump could see the myth of his omnipotence in the party evaporate like a balloon in a canceled election victory party.

In Georgia and across the country, countless prominent Republicans have either shaken their heads and bit their tongues at his candidacy or openly smiled at him.

Like several other Republicans running in the state, Herschel Walker, the football star recruited by Trump to run against Senator Raphael Warnock, won’t comment on Perdue. His spokesman said he was apparently too “laser focused” on his own campaign. The same goes for MP Jody Hice, who ran to remove Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, another Republican who was very much rejected by Trump. Far-right activist Steve Bannon called Perdue “the last person in the world” to take on Kemp. Conservative radio host Erick Erickson tweeted, “David Perdue was unable to defeat the spectacularly unfinished Jon Ossoff,” referring to the current Sen. Ossoff. “Why does he think he can beat Stacey Abrams?” Ossoff beat Perdue in part because Trump was raging in Georgia following the November defeat. Perdue needed votes for the January 5 runoff, but Trump’s antics railing against Republican electoral officials and the trustworthiness of the system discouraged the election. At a rally, Trump supporters urged Republicans not to support the GOP candidates. “You didn’t deserve your vote,” said then-Trump attorney Lin Wood, calling for the candidates to do more to bring about a victory for the defeated Trump.

But Perdue’s loss wasn’t all on Trump, and that should worry Perdue’s supporters – whoever they are.

At an iconic moment in the first Perdue-Ossoff debate – there was no second debate because Perdue withdrew after his appalling performance in the first – the Democrat nearly destroyed Perdue on accusations of corruption and cruelty. Perdue had spoken out against several measures to check the coronavirus stimulus. Ossoff took up the pattern: “You’re not just a crook, Senator,” he said while Perdue tried to look impassive. “You are attacking the health of the people you represent …[while] take care of your own assets and portfolio. “(Perdue’s spokesman denied that the then Senator was involved in illegal activities, stating,” For the past five years, the Senator has fully complied with federal law and all ethical requirements of the Senate . “)

Whoever wins the area code is sure to be taken along. Abrams, meanwhile, is likely to expire on her nomination.

But before the Democrats start celebrating their luck, there is one more factor to consider. Trump’s tireless work to protect himself from losing again when he runs in 2024 is already changing voting rules in several states. Last month’s Georgia elections saw a huge increase in the number of votes against absenteeism. If the race is close, the rules that make voting difficult could affect the outcome.

The biggest risk to Abrams, however, is that the Democrats’ ferocious determination to defeat Trump and turn Congress blue in 2020 will not materialize in 2022. That could affect voter turnout among Democrats. But this Republican battle could provide some relief to Abrams’ campaign.

In the end, it could be Trump himself who has the most to lose in Georgia. If Perdue loses the nomination, it’s Trump’s loss. If he wins the primary and competes against Abrams, the competition becomes a competition that is clearly about how much power Trump has at the ballot box.

In the 2020 election, Republicans lost the presidency and seats in the Georgia Senate with Trump’s bull-in-China shop maneuvers. This time they could lose the governorship.

Another loss in 2022 would make it clear how much damage Trump is doing to the party in the election. Would that be enough to open the eyes of the GOP, which is loyal to the long-term damage it does to the party? Like so much with Trump, the Republican Party and American democracy, that remains an open question.