The Closer to Trump One Was in #GA06, the Worse the Candidate Did

Here is a very true fact that should not be controversial. The more closely aligned a candidate was with Donald Trump, the worse the candidate did in the special election in Georgia. It is not meant to be insulting. It is just true. It is not bashing the President or attacking his supporters to point it out. The sixth congressional district is a district of high income, highly educated suburban Republicans and those voters tend to be the least Trump supporting of all Republicans. That is a reality borne out in the race and it is one the GOP is going to need to be mindful of as they map out 2018.

But one candidate has so bought into this campaign mythology that he thinks I am talking about him.

Bob Gray, who came in third place, has taken me to task for saying what is objectively true. He notes that he came ahead of a Rubio backed candidate. That is true too. Bob’s problem is that he has convinced himself he was a true-blue Trump supporter when he was not.

In 2016, Bob Gray supported Marco Rubio. He declared himself a Cruz man, but believed Cruz could not win. So he backed Rubio and was pretty antagonistic to Donald Trump, going so far as to call him the “GOP Obama.”

Only once Trump had secured the nomination did Gray convert.

This year, trying to capitalize on Trump’s supporters, Gray posed as a true-blue Trump supporter would would be a “willing partner” for Trump. He went so far as to hire Trump staffers.

But no one really bought it except Bob. You can read this AJC article for more on Bob’s sensational Trump claims, including the bit where his campaign sent out a press release claiming Karen Handel was dropping out to endorse him.

As I said, the closer a candidate was to Trump, the worse the candidate did.

Bob Gray, who posed as a Trump fan, got 10.8% of the vote.

Bruce Levell, who was a coalitions director for Trump and was with Trump from the beginning, got .2% of the vote.

Amy Kremer, who helped run one of the Trump super PAC’s also got .2% of the vote.

These three candidates all championed their ties to Trump and their willingness to help Trump. They’re all fine people. I know Amy well and she’s a great, committed conservative. But the ones with the closest ties did worse.

Gray may have convinced himself he was a Trump ally, but few others believed it. For Pete’s sake, the Club for Growth, which has routinely been attacked by the President, supported Gray and a pro-Trump PAC attacked Gray and the Club for Growth.

I had no idea that stating a fact was “bashing” Trump voters.

And yes, the man who supported Marco Rubio outperformed a Rubio supported candidate. Well done.

That does not change the facts. None of this was meant to be insulting, just a statement of fact the GOP needs to pay attention to. But Bob Gray is apparently rather high strung.

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Erick Erickson

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