POLITICAL NEWS

Trump team polls Perdue vs. Kemp Georgia showdown

Published on August 21, 2021 2:34 AM

by ALEX ISENSTADT

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Donald Trump's political operation has commissioned a poll showing Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is vulnerable in a Republican primary, a move that comes as the former president looks to punish the first-term Republican for his perceived disloyalty during the state's 2020 vote count.

The survey, which was paid for by Trump's Save America PAC, shows Kemp on shaky political ground among base Republican voters and suggests he would be at risk of losing the nomination to former Sen. David Perdue, a Trump ally who lost reelection earlier this year — but who hasn't publicly expressed interest in waging a primary challenge to Kemp.

According to the poll of 500 likely Republican primary voters, which was conducted Aug. 11-12 by Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio, only 24 percent "strongly approved" of Kemp, a fraction of the 74 percent figure Trump registered among the same group. It found that 27 percent disapproved of Kemp, compared to just 5 percent for Trump. Overall, 93 percent approved of Trump, compared to 69 percent for Kemp.

In a hypothetical primary matchup, Kemp would lead Perdue and a number of other challengers — but he'd be shy of the majority of the vote needed to avoid a runoff with Perdue. But the poll also tested a prospective scenario in which Trump endorsed Perdue in a primary against Kemp and found the former senator would flip the script, pulling ahead of the governor, 41 percent to 26 percent, giving Perdue the upper hand going into a runoff against the incumbent.

"We found that Brian Kemp is a weak incumbent that could be very susceptible to a strong primary challenge," Fabrizio and two of his partners, David Lee and Travis Tunis, write in a memo outlining the results of the survey, adding, "Trump's endorsement of David Perdue would completely upend the race."

Representatives for Kemp did not respond to requests for comment. Perdue did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Trump has been fixated on Kemp, whom he has accused of doing too little to intervene in Georgia's vote count following a 2020 election that saw President Joe Biden win the state by two-tenths of a percentage point, or ...