Georgia runoffs test whether Trump remains a "poison" for moderate GOP voters

“What keeps us from truly jumping ship and leaving, and just saying we are done, is, I think, that there is some hope that the party will rebuild itself,” said Carter Crenshaw, a Republican who founded a group called GOP for Biden during the 2020 election. He voted for Warnock and Ossoff in the general election, and then cast early ballots for the Democrats a few days before Christmas. “But you know, I do think that it does become more and more evident every day that I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.”

Some Republican officials in suburban Atlanta have grown frustrated as they watch their state party organization continue to build itself around the notion of a dominant rural vote. Counties in metro Atlanta are some of the fastest growing in the country, filling with a diverse demographic of people for whom traditional Republican messages are ineffective.

“You can only get 100 percent turnout in a rural county,” said Lawrence “Lane” Flynn, the chair of the DeKalb County Republican Party. “All that red ink on the map is great, but at some point you run out of people. Meanwhile, there are 10,000 people a day moving to Atlanta. All our ads are people in jeans and orange vests with shotguns and pickup trucks. That’s not going to appeal to the guy from Auburn or Georgetown who just got a job in Atlanta and a condo in Brookhaven.”