But they never did, choosing to respect the will of the voters. Trump, in turn, vowed to do all in his power to elect MAGA candidates to key positions.
It is now clear that his plan has failed spectacularly.
Trump-Backed Candidates Lose
On Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger convincingly beat their Trump-backed challengers in GOP primaries.
As Politico reported, Kemp thrashed former Sen. David Perdue, while Rep. Jody Hice got so destroyed by Raffensperger that there won't even be a runoff, as many expected.
Trump’s pick for attorney general John Gordon, meanwhile, lost against incumbent Chris Carr by a staggering half a million votes.
The Trump-backed commissioner candidate Patrick Witt lost by a similarly large margin.
Trump-backed House candidates, Vernon Jones, and Jake Evans, also got pummeled.
GOP Establishment Welcomes Defeats
Though some Trump-backed candidates won their elections, like Herschel Walker and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the results in Georgia are widely seen as a repudiation of Trump's 2020 election conspiracy theories, and of the former president himself.
"If there is any cosmic political karma, Brian Kemp deserves every bit of it. This is the payback of all paybacks," said former chair of the Georgia Republican Party John Watson.
Jason Shepherd, who once chaired the GOP in Georgia's Cobb County, said that this round of primaries "has been a wholesale rejection of Donald Trump’s brand of politics."
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In another sign that the GOP establishment is more than willing to take on Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence appeared at an election-eve Kemp rally.
In a speech, Pence dismissed Trump's conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and added fuel to the speculation that he is looking to run for the White House in 2024.
"I will always believe there is more that unites us than divides us," Pence said at the rally.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, once a close Trump ally, said that the former president "has been universally unsuccessful" in replacing incumbents with MAGA Republicans.
"He is winless," Christie stressed.
Trump has made it clear that he intends to run again in 2024, and many expect him to win the Republican presidential primary easily.
But these devastating losses in Georgia are a sign that the former president needs to reassess his plans, according to TV host Piers Morgan.
In a column penned for The New York Post, Morgan argued that Trump needs to park his "bruised ego" and let go of 2020 election conspiracy theories if the wants to win in 2024.
"If you keep banging on about the 2020 election, you’ll end up increasingly marginalized and irrelevant and the party will move on without you," Morgan wrote to Trump.