Warnock defeats Walker in Georgia Senate race

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Incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican candidate Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate run-off election.

Walker and Warner were pushed into a run-off election after neither of them reached the 50 per cent vote threshold during the midterm election held on November 8.

The two were battling it out for the final seat in the Senate and a 6-year term to represent the state.

The win will give the Democrats an outright majority in the senate with 51-49, breaking the 2-year long 50-50 split.

Herschel Walker’s loss is a further blow to the Republican party after their predicted ‘red-wave’ midterm election ceased to occur.

Walker was also amongst the numerous Trump-backed candidates this election who failed to win their races, further damaging his stronghold on the republican party and likely will affect his bid for the primary nomination for President in 2024.

He is also a former football player with little-to-no political background and experience, compared to his opponent who has been a Georgia Senator since 2021.

The former football player was also drowsed in controversy, alleging paying for an abortion for his ex-girlfriend despite being known for his strong views on being against it under all circumstances.

It shows that candidates matter, who you put forward to represent your party is an important factor in electability.

Voters are willing to cross party lines in order to vote for the better candidate.

In terms of voter turnout, this run-off election was record-breaking.

More than 1.85 million Georgians voted early in the lead up to the run-off election according to the office of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. 

Over 76,000 voters who didn’t show up for the general election turned out to vote early.

Around 1.63 million voters voted in-person on December 6.

Warnock received 51.4 per cent of the popular vote, with around 1.8 million votes being cast in his favour, whereas Walker received 48.6 per cent of the vote, receiving approximately 1.7 million votes.

“After a hard-fought campaign — or should I say campaigns — it is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken,” Warnock pronounced whilst speaking to voters following his long-awaited re-election win.

The 51st vote in the Senate means Democrats now have a clear path for a majority within committees and an increased chance of electing more liberal executive branch nominees and judges.

The extra seat could also play a major role in the party retaining the Senate during the 2024 election when many of its prominent incumbent Senators are up for re-election.

Georgia Democratic Senators Raphael Warnock (left) and Jon Ossoff (Right). Credit: Jon Ossoff via Twitter

Warnock’s win also means the state is still represented by two Democratic senators, as Jon Ossoff was elected back in 2020.

But with Georgia being a historically red state, could this reveal a permanent change in the direction of politics and the priorities of voters in the state?

Featured Image: Reverend Raphael Warnock via Twitter

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BA(Hons) International Politics and Languages
Politics and Music journalist

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