Georgia Senate race: Warnock wins CNN projects in final midterm scolding of Trump’s influence


Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock will win Georgia’s Senate runoff election, giving CNN projects a key win that will give Democrats a greater edge in the Senate next year.

With his defeat of Republican opponent Herschel Walker, the Democrats will control 51 of the GOP’s seats against 49.

The race closes a tough midterm cycle for Republicans who have won a House majority but have seen their hopes for Capitol Hill dominance dashed by the troubled nominations of some Donald Trump-backed Senate candidates, including Walker.

The runoff was a final midterm test of his influence as the former president prepared to run for the White House for a third time. It was also a sign that Georgia was now a decidedly purple state after President Joe Biden narrowly won the state in 2020, combined with two Senate runoff wins that gave him the Democratic Senate in 2021.

The next year’s democratic control of the Senate was already set in tough contests in states like Nevada, where Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto held her seat despite economic headwinds, and Pennsylvania, where Democrat John Fetterman snatched a seat from the GOP. .

The Senate was split 50 to 50, with Vice President Kamala Harris voting to break the tie. This is Democratic Sens from West Virginia. He overpowered moderate figures like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Cinema of Arizona, who often single-handedly rein in their party’s ambitions. Getting Warnock a full six-year term would make it easier to advance Biden’s nominations, while allowing Democrats to abandon the current power-sharing deal with Republicans.

Although Warnock received more votes than Walker in last month’s general election, he did not get the majority needed to win outright. According to data from ad tracking firm AdImpact, more than $80 million in ad spend was drawn in the ensuing runoff, with Democrats spending nearly twice as much as Republicans.

Warnock had a narrow lead over Walker in a CNN poll released last week. Walker had a positive rating of positivity as voters questioned his integrity after a series of scandals. She denied reports that she had pressured or encouraged women to have abortions, although she had previously advocated banning the procedure without exception on the campaign trail. CNN’s KFile reports that while competing for the seat in Georgia, she received a tax deduction designed for primary residence only in her Dallas, Texas-area home this year.

The state broke single-day early voting records last week, but the early voting period has shortened significantly from 2021. The total number of voters fell from roughly 3.1 million last year to about 1.87 million in 2022. Proportion of Black voters who strongly support Warnock in a CNN poll. According to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they accounted for about 32% of the turnout in the early voting.

But Walker counted on strong turnout among GOP voters, who tended to cast a larger number of votes on Election Day.

“It’s about turnout,” Walker said on Monday, urging voters to “flock to the polls.”

“We have to get in the game now. We can’t sit on the sidelines any longer.”

But Trump, who, like Biden, walked away from Peach State in the runoff, has complicated the fate of the nationwide GOP this year, as voters rejected most of his candidates in shaky states.

Some of the earliest signs of this were in Georgia two years ago, when mailed ballots and efforts to cast doubt on ballot counting were blamed in part for the GOP’s 2021 losses in the twin runoffs that handed control of the Senate to the Democrats.

This year, the former president’s efforts to take revenge on GOP Governor Brian Kemp, who rejected Trump’s demands to disrupt the 2020 election, were strongly rejected by pre-election voters. Kemp easily defeated Democratic rival Stacey Abrams last month, garnering nearly 200,000 more votes than Walker.

While Kemp and Walker spoke several times during the general campaign, the two men remained largely distant from each other on the trail. Everything changed in the second round. Kemp attended a rally with Walker and appeared in a commercial for him. He’s held private fundraisers and loaned a super PAC compatible with Mitch McConnell, the voting device he spent months building, all of which could be critical to Walker.

But Georgia Lieutenant Geoff Duncan, who opposed Trump’s bizarre demands after the 2020 election, told CNN on Monday that the only reason Walker was a GOP candidate was because of Trump’s support in the primaries, but now that former president “probably Herschel Walker’s The biggest headwind he’s ever had.”

Duncan suggested that Tuesday’s election would serve as a kind of final showdown for Trump – an election that could lead Republicans to take a tougher stance against his meddling in future elections, even as the former president tries to re-establish himself as the party’s standard-bearer. His recently announced bid to retake the White House.

“As Republicans, we’re trying to break this vicious cycle of addiction to Donald Trump,” Duncan said on CNN’s “AC360.”

“We were beaten for years when it should have been one of the biggest, easiest turnstiles we’ve made in decades. But unfortunately we are placing the wrong candidates all over the country.”

After watching losses in key states like Arizona and Pennsylvania, leading Republicans are planning more aggressive pressure to support candidates in the primaries they find more electable. Montana Senator Steve Daines, the new chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee, told CNN: “You clearly want to see candidates who can win the general election, and we will continue to work on that.”

Still, Trump argued in favor of Walker at a tele-rally on Monday and told his supporters that if he wins the nomination, “Republicans can make (Senate Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer’s life a little harder and we can put the brakes on any excess. left-wing judge.”

“A vote for Raphael Warnock is a vote to give Chuck Schumer and the confused ultra-left Democrats full control of the United States Senate. We can’t let that happen,” he added.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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