When Georgia’s Republican Primary vote came in last week, one county made it absolutely clear it was not going to be a good night for former President Donald Trump — Chattooga County, located in the state’s northwest corner.
Chattooga is one of our Meet The Press County to County locales for the 2022 midterm elections and was selected as a key county to track because of its strong past support for Trump. Back in 2020, the county gave the former president just over 80 percent of its vote.
But on May 24th the results looked very different. Incumbent Governor Brian Kemp trounced Trump’s hand-picked primary challenger, David Perdue, while getting 66 percent of the vote in Chattooga.
Republican senate nominee Herschel Walker won the state and the county. And, perhaps most telling, incumbent Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won the county as well, capturing 54 percent of the vote on the way to his statewide win.
Trump has called for Republicans to oust both Kemp and Raffensperger since the 2022 elections when he lost to President Joe Biden by fewer than 12,000 votes statewide and launched an effort to overturn the results.
The former president, for example, called Raffensperger an “enemy of the people” after the Georgia Secretary of State refused to “find” Trump the votes that would flip to the state to him.
In Trump-friendly Chattooga, the intra-party feuding appears to have dampened enthusiasm. In 2020, Chattooga produced more than 8,000 votes for Trump. On May 24, the county produced about 3,500 votes total in the GOP primaries.
Of course, it’s not fair to compare general election to primary tallies, but that’s a pretty big drop off and Trump was heavily invested in the Georgia primary.
Going into 2022, there were questions about whether Trump voters would turn out if the former president is not on the ballot. So far, the answer seems to be mixed depending on the state and the race.
And in Georgia the primary electorate looked more like your usual Republican primary voters than supercharged Trump supporters — even in very Trumpy Chattooga.