From the beginning of the cycle, people close to Kemp’s campaign told CNN the governor’s battle plan was simple: Ignore the attacks from Trump, tout his existing record, run as an unabashed conservative and emphasize the future.
The team around Kemp honed this strategy as early as January 2021, when it became clear Trump’s relentless attacks on the governor following the presidential election weren’t going to let up.
“As it became clear to us that he was not going to move on, we made a determination that, if you want to win an election, we are going to have to have people who like Trump also like us,” one Kemp aide told CNN. “We had to give Trump supporters permission to like both of them.”
In a few words at his Tuesday night victory party, Kemp summed up his approach.
“Even in the middle of a tough primary, conservatives across our state didn’t listen to the noise. They didn’t get distracted. They knew our record of fighting and winning for hard-working Georgians,” he told supporters at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. “Georgia Republicans went to the ballot box and overwhelmingly endorsed four more years of our vision for this great state.”