Some Republicans want former President Donald Trump to stay as far away from Georgia as possible until after the Dec. 6 Senate runoff election in the Peach State. 

With the GOP’s hopes for Senate control increasingly looking like they will hinge on the outcome of a Georgia runoff race between Republican Herschel Walker and incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), party strategists fear Trump will insert himself into the race and drive Republican voters away from the polls and Walker. 

“Hopefully Trump will stay out of the race as much as he possibly can,” a Republican aide told the Hill. 

“If that means holding off announcing his campaign for the White House, that would be a smart move not just for Republicans’ chances in Georgia but Trump’s hopes to win the nomination for president,” the aide added. 

Trump has endorsed Walker’s candidacy in Georgia, but he hasn’t exactly put his money where his mouth is, according to an analysis of campaign finance records. 

Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker’s campaign had been riddled by scandals.

Raphael Warnock
Warnock led Walker in the first round of voting.

The former president’s super PAC spent $3.4 million backing Walker in the general election, or less than 5% of the $72 million that outside groups spent on trying to get Walker elected, according to the Daily Wire. In contrast, Trump’s Save America PAC spent $4.4 million attacking a fellow Republican, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, in the primaries.

“If you talk to Georgia election strategists, they believe Trump was a huge drag on Walker in suburban Atlanta and there’s just no reason to risk repeating that,” the GOP aide told the Hill. “If Trump injects himself into the race somehow and Walker comes up short, that’s really bad for Trump too.”  

Republicans are worried about a 2021 repeat in Georgia when David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler lost Senate runoff elections to Sen. Jon Ossoff and Warnock, respectively. 

Trump led a rally in Georgia a day before voters went to the polls in 2021 and claimed that the 2020 presidential election he lost to Joe Biden was “rigged” and rife with fraud. Far less Republicans voted in the runoff races than the general election, leading many to believe Trump-supporting voters boycotted the election. 

“Important Advice to Republicans re Georgia Runoff: Trump needs to remember NOT to instruct Walker supporters to boycott the vote!” conservative commentator Ann Coulter wrote in a tweet on Wednesday, referencing the GOP’s 2021 Georgia runoff debacle.

It doesn’t seem likely that Trump will lay low until after Dec. 6. The former president issued a press release on Thursday indicating that his Nov. 15 “special announcement,” expected to be the launch of his 2024 presidential campaign, is moving forward as planned, despite a plea from top aide Jason Miller that he wait. 

“But if he’s going to come out in five days and announce his presidential run, that’s not going to be great for us,” the GOP aide told the Hill. 

“He doesn’t know how to do anything other than make things about him,” the aide lamented.  

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