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By Ari Kaufman,

The Democrats sure do love the Peach State.

Wrongly and appallingly decried a “Jim Crow” state last year by President Joe Biden, voter turnout continues to smash records. For the second time in 23 months, leftist Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated an underwhelming Republican challenger in a U.S. Senate runoff election.

Former football star Herschel Walker lost by roughly 100,000 votes, as Warnock ran up the score late in Atlanta’s urban core, as Democrats often do.

Walker was gracious in defeat, saying, “There are no excuses in life.” He’s correct unless you’re the former president, who regularly has excuses and conspiracies, never humility.

Despite what delusional people claim, Trump cleared the GOP primary field for Walker. Nearly two years ago, his press release argued, “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia? He would be unstoppable.”

Fox News and other friendly media dutifully complied by hosting Walker multiple nights per week, and he cruised in May’s primary over better Republican options.

Inexperienced and unvetted, Democrats and their media allies found and publicized an unflattering personal history that undoubtedly cost Walker. He ran nearly 10 points behind Georgia’s popular Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who defeated election-denying radical Stacey Abrams for a second time last month.

Trump-endorsed candidates continue to lose everywhere, and he sits 0-3 in Georgia Senate races, not counting his awful primary picks. When Mitch McConnell argued candidate quality matters, the former president threw a tantrum, but the GOP Senate leader was again sadly vindicated on Election Day.

A 51-49 Democrat Senate is terrible news for Republicans and America. Sen. Joe Manchin can no longer block a dangerous Biden nominee or destructive left-wing bill, and Democrats will have a majority on each committee.

Trump apologists like Laura Ingraham and the execrable Mollie Hemingway lie and blame money, mail-in voting, organization, and everything possible but the real culprit.

Mail-voting weaknesses didn’t stop Kemp and others from triumphing, and “organizing failures” — a vague cliché — don’t obscure the simple fact that Trump picks unpalatable losers.

Without his candidates, Republicans would likely have avoided losses in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and possibly Nevada and New Hampshire. Instead, Trump-endorsed populists lost almost everywhere that mattered.

Trump sycophant J.D. Vance claimed a win in Ohio, but only after a gracious McConnell Super PAC gave him over $30 million in advertising when the pseudo-populist was trailing in a red state that the incumbent Republican governor won by 25 points. Vance didn’t thank McConnell and probably won’t vote for him as Leader.

Evidence does not lie. The last election cycles that Trump and his acolytes have been involved in have alienated millions of voters and divided the GOP. Conspiracies from OANN, Tucker Carlson, and The Federalist will only lead to more unnecessary Republican losses in 2024.

Meanwhile, Ronna Romney McDaniel — who dropped the “Romney” from her name at Trump’s behest — has overseen three disastrous cycles for the GOP as chairwoman. A poor communicator, she never counteracted the former president’s injurious influence on elections.

As even the New York Post, a staunch MAGA ally until recently, noted this week, “So average Americans should brace for more pain, courtesy of our whiny former president. Trump can’t pick winners, and his endorsement is politically toxic.”

These simple lessons have been around for nearly five years. Trump is like the rookie baseball starting pitcher who dominates until the All-Star break, then hitters adjust and pound him the rest of the season. Those players are rarely heard from again. We can only hope.

Ari Kaufman is a correspondent for several U.S. newspapers and magazines from Minnesota and Ohio to Tennessee and Virginia. He taught school and served as a military historian before beginning his journalism career. The author of three books, he is also a frequent guest on radio programs and contributes to Israel National News and at The Lid. 


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