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Despite Chaos and Big Losses, Republicans Still Control Most of Georgia

Some reckoning has already begun. This week, Erick Erickson, the influential conservative radio host and Trump critic, called for the resignation of the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, David Shafer, a staunch supporter of the president who also promulgated claims of electoral fraud after Mr. Trump’s loss. Mr. Erickson argued that that strategy, which might have depressed Republicans’ desire to turn out in the runoff, ran counter to Republicans’ interests. (Mr. Shafer could not be reached for comment.)

The invasion of the U.S. Capitol may also continue to have political repercussions in Georgia. On Friday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a robocall telling Trump supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight to protect the integrity of our elections” had been put out by the Rule of Law Defense Fund, an arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association. That group is chaired by Chris Carr, the Georgia attorney general.

Katie Byrd, a spokeswoman for Mr. Carr, said Friday that Mr. Carr had “no knowledge” of the decision to put out the robocall and noted that he had publicly condemned “the violence and destruction we saw at the U.S. Capitol.”

And despite some of the positive signs, Republicans are also weighing how the last days of the Trump era have weakened them and are ruminating on the future of their party’s collective identity. Trey Allen, a Republican commissioner in Columbia County, near Augusta, said the party would have to move beyond being defined by a single personality and focus on classic conservative themes that are still popular with many Georgia voters.

“We will hopefully tighten up our platform,” said Mr. Allen, a self-described Reagan Republican who voted for Mr. Trump twice, “and focus on the things that make conservatives who they are: strong economy, strong military, less government, more freedoms.”

Mr. Duncan said that Republicans needed to prioritize policy over personality. He imagined what he described as “G.O.P. 2.0,” a version of the party that embraced traditional conservative ideals while also being more empathetic and having a more gentle tone, to win back voters who rejected Mr. Trump’s vitriolic style.

“If we don’t learn from our mistakes,” he said, “we’re going to continue to lose from our mistakes. This is the perfect moment in time to start G.O.P. 2.0 and realize we can never let a person be more important than a party.”


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