Few were surprised when Donald Trump won the Georgia Republican primary Tuesday. What was startling was the depth and breadth of his victory, fueled by a record-shattering wave of voters who flocked to him from all corners of the state and all factions of the GOP.
Trump won evangelicals. He won the wealthy. He won men. He won women. He won the college-educated. In fact, the New York billionaire won nearly every category of Georgia voter with an appeal that cut across demographics, regardless of age, education level, gender, religious beliefs or degree of conservatism. In the process, Trump also won more votes than any other Republican candidate ever in a Georgia presidential primary.
Trump’s self-styled populist revolt, some say, is triggering a national seismic shift in politics not seen in more than a generation, exposing a huge rift between the Republican leadership and the electorate it represents.
It has much of Georgia’s political establishment puzzling over what the Trump phenomenon means to state politics. And the ripple effect could have its first consequences in Georgia on Monday, when qualifying begins for the hundreds of state legislative seats, 14 congressional districts and the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in November.