“I’ve yet to find a single person who’s worked in the vineyards of Georgia Republican politics who’s excited about the prospect of a Herschel Walker candidacy,” said one national Senate strategist. “The perception is that he’s someone who’s far from the state, doesn’t have a lot of political curiosity, and there’s concern about what a deep dive in the opposition research bank might pull up very rapidly.”
The dynamic is similar in Arizona, where Republican leaders haven’t seemed to absorb any lessons from Democrats’ statewide victories in 2018 and 2020. Despite clear evidence that Biden and Kelly made major inroads with moderate suburbanites in last year’s election, the party is imposing even more reckless litmus tests for their nominees. Gov. Doug Ducey passed on the race after receiving sharp criticism from Trump for certifying the state’s election results for Biden. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, one of the early front-runners, has drawn Trump’s wrath for not doing enough to champion his baseless allegations of voter fraud. “We’re asking [Republicans] to vote for us in an election system they don’t believe in anymore,” lamented one Arizona-based GOP strategist.