(The Center Square) — Georgia is likely “the most important state in American politics” heading into the 2024 election, a leading intellectual historian said.
Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams in 2018 and decidedly defeated her in a rematch in November to win a second term. He won despite drawing former President Donald Trump’s ire for his response to the 2020 election.
“I think Gov. Kemp has been extremely successful,” Matthew Continetti told The Center Square. “I think he has an immense political talent; I think he’s shown that it’s possible for a state official to resist the Trumpian attack while winning elections, and I think that Georgia is the battleground for 2024 because if you just look at the post-2016 elections — 2018, 2020 and 2022 — Georgia has a Trump allergy, and you think you’d want to correct that.”
Continetti, and author and the director of domestic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, spoke exclusively with The Center Square following his remarks to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Georgia Freedom Series luncheon last week.
“I think he should be more forceful on the school choice issue,” Continetti said when asked what he would recommend the governor do if he advised him on policy. “I understand his concerns. I’ve heard him talk about it. I would like to see more there. He knows that; he knows how conservatives feel.
“But I think he’s done a great job of focusing voters’ attention on public safety, cost of living [and] education. Those are the three issues, I think, that can power any Republican victory.”
As governor, Kemp has used his bully pulpit to garner positive headlines for initiatives ranging from allocating federal COVID-19 relief money to suspending the state’s motor fuel tax.
“Biden-flation is real, and it’s persistent, and it’s hurting people,” Continetti said. “That’s why Biden isn’t getting the numbers on the economy that he thinks he deserves.”