Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock wins the Senate runoff vote in Georgia, The CNN Project, giving Democrats an important victory that will boost their influence in the Senate next year.
With the loss of Republican challenger Herschel Walker, the Democrats will control 51 seats against the Republican Party’s 49 seats.
Republicans won a majority in the House, but saw their hopes for control of the Capitol dashed by the troubled candidacy of Donald Trump-backed Senate candidates, including Walker.
The runoff was the final midterm test of the influence of the former president, who is embarking on his third White House run. It also means that in the wake of President Joe Biden’s narrow win in 2020, combined with his two Senate runoff votes that won him the Democratic Senate in 2021, Georgia is now a decisive winner. It was also a sign of being a purple state.
Democratic control of the Senate next year will see Democrat Katherine Cortez Mast cling to her seat in Nevada despite economic headwinds, and Democrat John Fetterman won the Republican seat. Already settled by bitter disputes like Pennsylvania. .
The Senate was evenly split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris having a tie vote. It gives too much power to moderate lawmakers such as Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kirsten Cinema (Arizona). Warnock securing a full six-year term would allow Democrats to forgo their current power-sharing pact with Republicans, making it easier for Biden’s candidate to advance.
Warnock received more votes than Walker in last month’s general election, but fell short of the majority needed to win outright. The ensuing exfiltration raised more than $80 million in ad spending, with Democrats spending nearly twice as much as Republicans, according to data from ad-tracking firm AdImpact.
In a CNN poll released last week, Warnock had a slight lead over Walker. After a series of scandals, Walker’s likeability was negative as voters questioned his honesty. He has previously advocated a ban on abortion without exception during his campaign, but has denied reports that he coerced or encouraged women to have abortions.CNN’s KFile said he reported that it is receiving a tax break this year that covers only the primary residence of its home in the Dallas, Texas area while it is running for a seat in Georgia.
The state last week set a new one-day early voting record, but the early voting period has been significantly shortened from 2021. Overall voter numbers have fallen from about 3.1 million last year to about 1.87 million in 2022. Percentage of black voters who strongly supported Warnock in a CNN poll. They accounted for about 32% of early voting turnout, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
However, Walker hoped for a high turnout among Republican voters, who tend to cast large numbers on Election Day.
“This is a voter turnout issue,” Walker said Monday, urging voters to “run the polls.”
“Okay, we have to be in the game. We can’t be on the sidelines anymore.”
But like Biden, Trump, who shunned Peach State during the runoff, complicated the fate of Republicans across the country this year as voters rejected many of the candidates who would reject his election in battleground states. Did.
Some of the first signs were seen in Georgia two years ago. It was then that his efforts to question mail-in ballots and counting were part of his 2021 defeat in the twin runoffs that saw Republicans cede control of the Senate to his 2021 Democrats. was criticized.
Earlier this year, the former president’s efforts to take revenge on Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who rejected Trump’s demands to overturn the 2020 election, were categorically rejected by voters in the primary. He easily beat out Stacey Abrams, who was a vice president, and received about 200,000 more votes than Walker.
Kemp and Walker spoke several times during the general election, but the two men mostly kept their distance from each other on the trail. That all changed in the runoff vote. Kemp attended rallies with Walker and appeared in his advertisements. He ran a private fundraiser and loaned a super PAC affiliated with Mitch McConnell the voting machine he had spent months building.
But Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Jeff Duncan also lashed out at Trump’s outlandish demands after the 2020 election, telling CNN Monday that Trump’s endorsement in the primary was the only way Walker became the Republican nominee. The former president now said, “It’s probably the biggest headwind that Herschel Walker has.”
Duncan suggested Tuesday’s election would be a sort of final reckoning for Trump. This could lead Republicans to take a stronger stance against his interference in future elections — his recently announced bid to retake the White House.
“I’m trying to break the cycle of Donald Trump addiction as a Republican,” Duncan told CNN’s AC360.
“The last few years have been devastating for what was supposed to be one of the biggest and easiest layups in decades. We have placed candidates.”
After witnessing losses in key states such as Arizona and Pennsylvania, the top Republicans are making a more aggressive push to endorse candidates in primaries they see as more selectable. We are planning. Montana Senator Steve Daines, incoming chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee, told CNN:
Still, Trump argued on Walker’s behalf on Monday’s call, telling supporters that if his candidate wins, “Republicans can make[Senate Majority Leader]Chuck Schumer’s life a little more difficult.” You can, and you can put the brakes on all extremes…left-wing judges.”
“The vote for Raphael Warnock is to give Chuck Schumer and the freewheeling far-left Democrats full control of the U.S. Senate.
This story has been updated with additional developments.