Air wars: Kemp gets reinforcements from RGA

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at a press conference on Aug. 10, 2020, in Atlanta. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks at a press conference on Aug. 10, 2020, in Atlanta. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Gov. Brian Kemp is some timely reinforcements from one of his most powerful supporters.

For the first time in its history, the Republican Governors Association is financing a TV ad during a party primary to support an incumbent facing a GOP challenger. The group unveiled a pro-Kemp ad Wednesday – and put more than $500,000 behind it.

The ad launched days after Kemp’s top Republican rival, former U.S. Sen. David Perdue, aired his own spot featuring former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. And it underscores a growing proxy war between mainstream GOP groups and Trump’s allies.

The ad doesn’t mention Perdue. Instead, it highlights “out of control spending, skyrocketing inflation, and an invasion on the Southern border” under President Joe Biden’s administration.

“But Georgia has a proven conservative leader fighting back. Kemp cut taxes, creating one of America’s fastest growing economies and good-paying jobs,” the narrator says.

“And Gov. Kemp sent the National Guard to the border to help stop the illegal drugs flooding our communities.”

Kemp and other Republicans are increasingly attacking Biden – and tying their Democratic adversaries to his administration – as polls indicate his popularity is waning.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released in January showed Biden’s approval rating among registered voters plummeted from 51% in May to 34% this month. Nearly two-thirds of Georgians now disapprove of his performance.

Just as concerning for Democrats was the electorate’s gloomy mood on the economy. Nearly three of four Georgians feel the nation is headed down the wrong track, and almost 80% say inflation is having a significant or notable impact on their day-to-day lives.

The RGA is one of Kemp’s most important allies in his battle for reelection, and the group has pledged to open its coffers to support his second term. Kemp has built a hefty financial advantage over Perdue – but Democrat Stacey Abrams is outpacing them both.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Hyma Moore welcomed the deepening GOP division.

“Grab your popcorn and get ready - Doug Ducey’s Republican Governors Association is now at war with Donald Trump,” he said, adding: “Trump’s stranglehold on the Republican Party ensures that regardless of which Republican survives this primary, Georgia Republicans are guaranteed to have a rough time.”