ATLANTA — Sen. Raphael Warnock beat Herschel Walker, a Republican challenger, in Georgia’s Senate runoff. This gives Democrats a 51-seat majority in the Senate next year and ends an extraordinary defense of the chamber in which every incumbent who was in danger of losing won reelection.
Warnock won a special election runoff in early 2021 and now has a full six-year term. In the general election in November, he came in just ahead of Walker. But since neither candidate got enough votes to win the majority, they moved on to this week’s one-on-one runoff, which will extend one of the most expensive and hard-fought campaigns in the country.
Warnock’s win means that Senate Democrats kept all of the seats they had up for election this year. They also flipped the open seat in Pennsylvania to increase their majority in the Senate by one seat, despite a tough political climate and President Joe Biden’s falling approval ratings.
The results are also another big loss for candidates backed by former President Donald Trump. This is a sore spot for Republicans all over the country, who say he gave the party candidates who couldn’t win. This year, Trump stepped into the GOP primaries to help Walker, a former football player, as well as celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and investor Blake Masters in Arizona. All three candidates were running for Senate seats that were close. All three of Trump’s picks for swing House seats and races for governor also lost.
In the meantime, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp easily won reelection in November after beating a Trump-backed primary challenger earlier this year. Kemp had refused to help Trump try to change the results of the 2020 election, so he was able to beat the challenger. Shortly after 11 p.m., Warnock spoke to a full ballroom of cheering supporters. As he walked out, people chanted “six more years.”
“After a hard-fought campaign, or should I say campaigns, it is my honor to say the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken,” he said. Around the same time, Walker took the stage at his election night event and gave a three-minute speech in which he told his supporters not to stop believing in America or voting.
Walker said, “There’s no way out of life.” “I’m not going to make any excuses now, because we fought really hard.” This is Georgia’s third Senate runoff election in the last two years. When Warnock and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff both won in January 2021, they switched control of the chamber.
The win gives Senate Democrats more room to work on nominations and bills over the next two years. It also gives them a little more breathing room before the Senate map changes in 2024, which will give Republicans a lot of chances to win seats.
Georgia won’t be on the map of Senate battlegrounds the next time around, but it has become a new Southern swing state in recent years and will be a hotly contested presidential race. In 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams lost by a small margin to Republican Brian Kemp. This was followed by Biden’s win in the state and the two Senate wins a few months later.
This November, the balance of power swung back to the Republicans. Kemp won his rematch with Abrams again, and the GOP did well in every statewide race except for the Senate race, where Warnock finished one point ahead of Walker but neither could win a majority, leading to a runoff.
Both sides think the runoff will be close and that a lot of people will vote, especially compared to other runoffs. During early voting, several records for the most people voting in a single day were set.
During the general election campaign, Walker was caught in scandal after scandal. As a candidate, Walker said he was against access to abortions and anything that hurts families, like fathers who don’t live with their kids. But before the general election, Walker was accused of encouraging and paying for several women to have abortions, which he denied. In a Twitter video, his son said that Walker had hurt his mother by hitting her. And another ex-girlfriend said that he was violent toward her while they were together.
The Daily Beast also said that Walker has three kids he didn’t have with his wife. One of them is a young son he hasn’t seen in person for years.
But Warnock has also done some things wrong. People didn’t like that the senator used money from his campaign to fight a lawsuit against him. And Walker’s campaign has brought the business of Warnock’s church into the race. Warnock is the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist, which is part owner of a low-income apartment building where some tenants were asked to leave for small amounts of unpaid rent.
Warnock has said that he is not in the business of renting out apartments and that no one has been kicked out. Republicans have also brought up Warnock’s personal problems at home. For example, they have used police body camera footage of his ex-wife saying that the senator acted like an “actor” in public in ads.
Warnock has had a huge advantage when it comes to fundraising and spending. He raised more than twice as much money as Walker did for this election cycle, which allowed him to run more ads, including ones that talked about the domestic violence claims against Walker.
After Kemp was re-elected in November, Walker has been relying on him in the runoff. The governor gave his field organizing team to Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that supports Walker and is backed by the GOP Senate, and he started showing up at Walker’s campaign events. Kemp even made an ad for him that was shown on TV.
After candidates backed by Trump who ran against Kemp and other Republicans in Georgia’s primaries and lost, the former president didn’t go to the state. Instead of going to the runoff, Trump did a tele-rally for Walker on Monday night to get his core voters excited.
Please enjoy our article if you do. If so, we’d love to hear your insights in the space provided below. Don’t forget to save Journalistpr.com. in your bookmarks so you can read more similar articles in the future.