- Former President Donald Trump has recently held rallies to boost GOP candidates in several states.
- Trump has not been to Georgia recently, despite his endorsed running mate Herschel Walker’s tight race.
- A GOP operative told The Washington Post that Trump could distract from GOP messaging.
With many Republican candidates basking in the support they receive from former President Donald Trump, some in the party are seeking to distance themselves, fearing he could derail messages aimed at Democrats.
An unnamed Georgia GOP operative told The Washington Post that some Republicans in the state believe it would be bad for their candidates if the former president came through.
“Trump coming down to Georgia is the worst thing that could happen to Republican candidates down here,” the operator told the Post. “It immediately turns the focus from inflation and immigration to Donald Trump, and Donald Trump lost the last election here.”
The operator also noted the competitiveness of the Senate race, where Trump-endorsed Republican Herschel Walker is seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in a closely watched race that could affect which party ends up with a majority in the chamber.
“We have a pretty tight window to get Hershel across the finish line on election night, and Trump would undermine that,” the operator told the Post.
Previous reports have said some Republicans want the focus of the midterms to remain on the Democrats and President Joe Biden, rather than Trump or the 2020 election, with some even worrying about what might happen if Trump announced a 2024 campaign before Election Day .
The Georgia race, considered one of the tightest in the country, has been called a toss-up by some pundits, while polling average site FiveThirtyEight gives Warnock a slight edge.
But Trump, who has long boasted the value of his endorsements and appearances on the campaign trail, has not returned to Georgia in more than six months — despite a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in September that said he was considering to return after the Walker-Warnock debate.
In the meantime, he has continued to hold rallies alongside Republican candidates vying for victory in November in other states.
The former president was in Arizona earlier this month campaigning alongside Kari Lake, who is in a tight race for Arizona governor, and Senate candidate Blake Masters, whose decisive race is also considered a draft by pundits. Trump also appeared this month at a rally in Nevada, which also has a key Senate race, and just this weekend he was in Texas, which does not have a competitive Senate race on the ballot.
Still, Trump hasn’t been to Georgia since March, even as Walker has struggled to deal with an abortion scandal. Three sources close to the situation told the Post that Walker’s campaign spoke to Trump’s team about the former president potentially coming, but the proposed meeting never took place.
Sources told the Post that Trump may hold several additional rallies before Election Day, including in Georgia, but only where he is wanted.
“We’re not going anywhere we’re told they don’t want us,” an unnamed Trump adviser told the paper. “If you’re trying to chase independent and moderate women in the suburbs, he’s probably not your best option.”
Trump’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.