“An Untenable Position”: New Report Breaks Down How Loeffler’s Stock Trading Scandal Leaves GOP Vulnerable in Georgia

April 15, 2020

Loeffler’s “lesson in how not to manage a crisis” could be “fatal mistake” for her campaign that “even Loeffler allies concede…has hurt her”

ATLANTA — A new analysis out from the Cook Political Report breaks down the “untenable position” unelected “political mega-donor” Senator Kelly Loeffler finds herself in after her stock trading scandal that “couldn’t come at a worse time.”

With her “battle royale” against top Trump ally Congressman Doug Collins continuing to intensify this week as Collins picked up endorsements from Congressman Drew Ferguson and a top pro-Trump super PAC, Loeffler is now at a “distinct disadvantage” following her disastrous handling of her scandal. The Cook Political Report even called her desperate attempts at damage control “a lesson in how not to manage a crisis.”

Now, Republicans are admitting her scandal could be a “fatal mistake” after one top Georgia Republican leader already publicly worried about “down-ticket damage” from Loeffler in November. As the Cook Political Report sums up: “First impressions matter, and this isn’t a good one for a political newcomer.”

Read the full Cook Political Report write-up on the impact of Loeffler’s disastrous stock trading scandal:

Cook Political Report: Georgia Senate Special: Loeffler Support Softens

  • Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler was already facing a tough race after being appointed at the beginning of the year to fill the seat vacated by Johnny Isakson. Only weeks after being sworn in, GOP Rep. Doug Collins announced he would challenge her from the right, while national Democrats quickly coalesced behind Rev. Raphael Warnock on the left.
  • Now, reports that Loeffler sold off around $20 million in stocks shortly after a briefing on the COVID-19 threat have put her in an untenable position, making her efforts to win the November special election more difficult and putting her at a distinct disadvantage for now.
  • What’s happened since then has looked like a lesson in how not to manage a crisis. Loeffler has doubled down and blamed the media, even as more stock transactions during that time frame continued to trickle out.
  • [Loeffler] never fully answered questions about whether she and her husband had any contact with those advisers or other specifics when pressed.
  • Her wealth, given the stock controversies, is likely to be wielded as a double-edged sword. And, as I wrote last year for NPR, self-funding candidates rarely succeed.
  • One Georgia Republican backing the congressman argued it was a “fatal mistake I don’t think she can recover from.”
  • Even before the stock trades surfaced, early polling in the race showed support for Loeffler was soft. And the stories about her stock trades couldn’t come at a worse time too, right when she needed to be boosting her relatively unknown image with voters. First impressions matter, and this isn’t a good one for a political newcomer.
  • Even Loeffler allies concede that this flap has hurt her, and limited polling we do have bears that out.


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