Georgia Senate runoff loss ‘the cherry on top’ of Trump’s dismal 2024 rollout


Donald Trump
Tuesday produced two significant developments that are both sending shockwaves through MAGA world: Republicans’ disappointing loss in Georgia’s Senate runoff election and the guilty verdict handed down against the Trump Organization in New York. Andrew Harnik/AP

Georgia Senate runoff loss ‘the cherry on top’ of Trump’s dismal 2024 rollout

Video Embed

This week produced two significant developments that sent shockwaves through the MAGA world: Republicans’ disappointing loss in Georgia’s Senate runoff election and the guilty verdict handed down against the Trump Organization in New York.

The Washington Examiner spoke with a number of former Trump administration campaign officials and individuals in the former president’s orbit who are now voicing major doubts about his 2024 viability.


Officials had previously told the Washington Examiner they were “on the fence” about Trump’s latest White House bid. Four said Wednesday morning that the Georgia race essentially signaled the party was ready to move on to a new leader.

“We jumped on the wrong bandwagon,” one official said in a phone interview. “If there were still doubts that Trump’s name alone can carry elections, there aren’t any longer.”

“I think people have been changing their minds about Trump 2024 since the midterms, and last night was the cherry on top,” a second former administration official added. “They love Trump and appreciate all he’s done, but know he can’t win anymore because he’s too polarizing.”

The weeks following Trump’s official 2024 announcement featured a number of negative developments, ranging from losing his effort to block the House Ways and Means Committee from reviewing his personal tax returns to the Justice Department tapping former U.S. attorney and Hague war crimes prosecutor Jack Smith to serve as special counsel in the department’s two ongoing investigations into Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump administration and campaign veterans have been hesitant to join up with the 2024 operation, with many explicitly telling the Washington Examiner they’ve moved on from the former president and many of Trump’s largest donors from past campaigns, including Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman and billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, have publicly voiced support for a new Republican nominee.

A number of other high-profile former Trump officials also offered public critiques of Trump’s influence on the Georgia race.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former acting White House chief of staff, pointed out similarities between the Georgia race and those in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

“Trump has now lost 4 races in Georgia in two years. One of his own and 3 by proxy,” he tweeted Wednesday morning. “He has a swing-state problem for 2024 that is real. Again: those who win primaries, and lose general elections, are still losers.”

Alyssa Farah Griffin, who served as the White House director of strategic communications during Trump’s final months in office, wrote Tuesday night that “Donald Trump once again cost Republicans a GA Senate seat!”

“Fixing the GOP begins with not lying to voters. Trump didn’t win in 2020. The election wasn’t stolen,” she added in a second tweet. “If you want to win: be honest, be forward-looking, define what you’re for, not just what you’re against.”

Meanwhile, a jury found the Trump Organization and former CEO Allen Weisselberg guilty on 17 tax fraud-related charges Tuesday afternoon. Though the defense has promised to appeal the decision, the verdict essentially closes the book on New York Attorney General Letitia James’s yearslong investigation into Trump’s businesses.

Two individuals close to the former president downplayed the Trump Organization developments, specifically noting that Trump nor any of his adult children were personally found guilty of tax fraud, but conceded to the Washington Examiner that the number of legal “entanglements” Trump is currently involved in could turn off some moderate voters.

Still, both people insisted that most independents would view Trump as a victim, specifically targeted by the “radical left” and “deep state.”

As Trump’s stock falls, momentum is rapidly behind Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), following a landslide victory in his November reelection race and nearly two years of pushing back on the Biden administration’s COVID-19 protocols.


Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) has also emerged as a potential Trump challenger. Youngkin kept Trump at arm’s length during his 2021 gubernatorial campaign and was able to parlay a steady focus on education and families into the Republicans’ first gubernatorial win in Virginia in nearly a decade.

Former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have also signaled a desire for the presidency ahead of 2024.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

Related Content