Atlanta debate will reveal why Trump is Georgia’s top choice for 2024

Georgia Republican Party Chairman Josh McKoon speaks at the annual Georgia GOP Lincoln Dinner in March 2024. (Credit: Georgia Republican Party)

Read the guest commentary from Democratic Party Chair Nikema Williams here.

There’s an old saying in American politics: “As goes the South, so goes the nation.” An outdated reference to the days of Democrat control in the Southern states, this lasted for around a century and a half. However, as we enter the 2024 general election, the term once again has relevance, not necessarily for the entire region, but for one state in particular: Georgia. Thus, it is no surprise that our state was chosen to host the first presidential debate. 

The irony isn’t lost on me or others who have closely watched American political history. We are in the midst of a massive nationwide political realignment, the likes of which have been seen only a few times. Democrats are well aware of it too. It’s why they have resorted to criminalizing political discourse, spreading disinformation, meddling in Republican primaries, and shaming “Make America Great Again” supporters, all in a desperate attempt to sway public opinion away from President Donald Trump. 

Joe Biden’s entire reelection campaign is a carefully crafted narrative guided by the best elite Hollywood storytellers. Unfortunately for Democrats, we’ve seen enough of their movie to know what is coming next … after all, the irony is in the very founding of the Democratic Party. 

Following the presidential election of 1824, the country was divided against itself and left with a terrible taste in its mouth. Voters were convinced that after the election, elites in the country had placed their thumb on the scale, ignoring the will of the people. But even with a bad taste in their mouth, activists spent the next four years organizing and campaigning for the candidate they thought had been wronged. Despite unwavering social ostracization, they never gave up on their candidate. The result of this organization effort was the establishment of what we now know as the Democratic Party. Their candidate, Andrew Jackson, won in a landslide in 1828, and almost 200 years later here we are expecting the same scenario. 

Since my time as chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, President Trump has been openly challenging Biden to a debate. The eventual acceptance of the invitation, and the insistence that it be hosted in Atlanta and moderated by CNN, is not much of a surprise. However, as I said, we’ve seen enough of the movie to know what will happen next. 

Democrats and their allies Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the debate. Leading up to the event they’ll be sure to show highlights from Georgia in 2020 in an effort to remind voters of the sham criminal charges President Trump is facing in the state. They have even rigged the debate by giving moderators the ability to shut off microphones, planned commercial breaks and a quiet studio with no live audience. I’m willing to bet the moderators even try to goad President Trump into breaking his New York gag order. It’s almost as if the entire exercise is tailor-made to help out the media’s favored candidate, who is clearly losing his faculties. 

Unfortunately for that candidate, Joe Biden, and the Democrats, this, too, will backfire in the same way as every other obvious attempt at stacking the deck. The American people will see right through the open bias of the exercise, and more importantly, will listen to what President Trump has to say. 

Georgians are feeling the negative effects of the Biden administration’s policies. They know they were better off four years ago than today and now have the opportunity to revert to those Trump policies. That choice will become even clearer after the debate in Georgia, and especially come election time in November. I think we will ultimately find that as goes Georgia, so will the nation.

Josh McKoon is chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. Find him on X @joshmckoon.


President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will go head-to-head in the first presidential debate of the 2024 general election this Thursday, June 27, in Atlanta. The event, beginning at 9 p.m. EDT and lasting 90 minutes, will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash at CNN’s Atlanta studios. You can watch the debate live on CNN and Max, the streaming service previously known as HBO Max. The debate will also be available on CNN’s website.

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