Georgians pick incumbent Democratic senator Warnock after hard-fought campaign

Georgians pick incumbent Democratic senator Warnock after hard-fought campaign
3 min read
Washington, D.C.
07 December, 2022
Georgia voters have chosen incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in a tight race that is being attributed to dedicated campaigning by the Democrats and an arguably weak Republican candidate backed by an ex-president with waning influence.
Georgia's Democratic US Senate incumbent Raphael Warnock has won re-election in a runoff. [Getty]

On Tuesday, Georgians chose Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock over Republican former President Donald Trump-endorsed retired American football player Herschel Walker, in what many are seeing as a rebuke of the previous president's hold over the Republican party. 

At the end of the day on Tuesday, at around 10:30 pm, the Associated Press called the election with around 95 per cent reporting. It was a largely expected outcome, with pollsters predicting the on the eve of the election that it leaned Democrat, but it was not without a hard-fought campaign by Warnock.

To pull off a victory, Warnock's campaign had to turn out every voter possible in a historically red state, which they worked at through diligent door-to-door canvassing and fundraising in which they outraised their opponent by about two to one. They were also fighting against possible voter fatigue in a state that has had four senate races (two regular races and two runoffs) since 2020.

"Warnock basically ran a perfect campaign," J. Miles Coleman, associate editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told The New Arab

"I would just say Walker was a terrible opponent," Coleman said, noting that a significant number of Georgia voters showed a clear preference for certain candidates over party preferences. In the November general election, Republican governor Brian Kemp was re-elected on the same day that Warnock, a Democrat, won more votes than Walker.

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Walker has been ridiculed for his gaffes and scandals ever since entering the race. He had not been forthcoming about his number of children, he has been accused by multiple partners of domestic violence and has forced them to have abortions (despite claiming to have an anti-abortion stance) and his speeches have often been incoherent.

"It probably speaks well of the American voter. It shows there are some limits to the type of candidate people will get behind," said Coleman.

Tuesday's election outcome in Georgia was in line with the rest of the 2022 cycle's trend of voters choosing candidates that were not endorsed by Trump, leading to widespread speculation of his waning influence.

Though the Democrats did not need an additional senate seat to maintain their majority, one additional senator for the party could make an important difference in how they vote and get through legislation and confirmations, particularly with the presence of two of the more conservative-leaning Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Hours before the Georgia senate result, a jury found the Trump organisation guilty of a tax fraud scheme, making the Georgia runoff the second major bad piece of news for the former president on Tuesday.