No one could have been surprised when Donald Trump recently gave his protégé in Pennsylvania good advice: Mehmet Oz, better known as the television doctor “Dr.
Oz” should simply declare himself the winner, wrote the former president on his new platform “Truth Social”.
Then it would be much more difficult for the other side to commit election fraud with the ballot papers that they could still find.
The other side is the team led by David McCormick, who is so close behind Oz in the Republican primary for a Senate seat that there is no official result yet.
Political correspondent for North America based in Washington.
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Oz, whose election Trump called for, leads McCormick by about 1,000 votes, or 0.1 percentage point.
Apart from the fact that some ballot papers from mail-in voters still have to be counted, the regulations in Pennsylvania also provide for an automatic recount with such a narrow distance.
Trump is undeterred in following his script from the 2020 election year. The Republican establishment has long feared that he would not shy away from making unfounded allegations against his own party.
After all, it's not just about "Dr.
Oz”, but the question of what weight Trump has in the “Grand Old Party”.
Trump's behavior demobilizes his own clientele
Even die-hard Trumpists are now asking the former president, who will soon be 76, to just shut up.
But what is happening in Pennsylvania these days may just be the beginning.
The Georgia primary will be held this Tuesday.
It is the site of Trump's double defeat in 2020: In the presidential election, the Democrats, with the help of a mobilization campaign by their frontwoman Stacey Abrams, managed to get ahead of the Republicans in the southern state for the first time in decades.
The Senate elections, on the other hand, were so close that there were run-offs that the Democrats ultimately won – because Trump's electoral fraud narrative also demobilized his own electorate.
On Tuesday, David Perdue, who lost his Senate seat at the time, will face incumbent Governor Brian Kemp in the Republican primary.
Kemp, on the other hand, together with his Interior Secretary Brad Raffensperger, ensured that everything was done correctly in Georgia during various recounts and that Joe Biden was ultimately awarded the state's votes in the electoral college.
At the time, Trump swore revenge: he would ensure that Kemp was evicted from the governor's residence.
Perdue should do that for him.
He played the game and accused Kemp of being involved in election fraud in 2020 and of withholding evidence.
Pence seeks confrontation with Trump
But it seems that the majority of Georgia's Republican voters want nothing more to do with it.
Perdue is far behind in polls.
In fact, it looks like the former senator has already accepted defeat: he hasn't spent any money on TV ads in the past few days.
Kemp, who some months ago predicted his political end because of Trump's vendetta, campaigned with confidence: When asked about Trump, he replied that he wasn't interested in advice from people who didn't live in Georgia.
And when it came to issues of voter fraud, he pointed to electoral reform that went into effect in Georgia last year.
This provides, for example – much to the annoyance of the Democrats – that the number of drop-in boxes for early voters has been limited.
This is how Kemp Perdue took the wind out of their sails.
Meanwhile, polls show that Georgia voters have regained confidence in their electoral process, which Trump sought to destroy.
That there is more at stake in the southern state than just Kemp's political future and Trump's thirst for revenge can be seen from the fact that former Vice President Mike Pence has spoken out in favor of the incumbent governor's re-election.
It's not the first time Pence has confronted Trump.
The primaries for the “midterms” in November are a pointer to the presidential election in 2024. As much as Trump still outshines the GOP, a possible renewed candidacy will not be a sure-fire success.Keywords: