In the Georgia runoff election on Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock trounced Republican candidate, Herschel Walker, giving Democrats an absolute majority in the Senate for the remainder of President Joe Biden’s term and putting a disappointing midterm election cycle for the GOP to rest.
Democrats will hold a 51-49 Senate majority with Warnock’s second runoff victory in as many years, gaining one seat from the existing 50-50 split thanks to John Fetterman’s victory in Pennsylvania.
Despite this, there will be a divided government because Republicans narrowly flipped the House.
The people have spoken, Warnock, 53, declared to ecstatic supporters jam-packed into a downtown Atlanta hotel ballroom.
“After a hard-fought campaign — or should I say campaigns, it is my joy to pronounce the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken.”
Baptist pastor and his state’s first Black senator, Warnock, said, “I often remark that a vote is a type of prayer for the world we seek for ourselves and our children.”
“Georgia, you have been praising God with your lips, feet, hands, heads, and hearts. We are standing together because of the hard effort you put in.
In the nearly 4 million ballots cast in the election last month, Warnock had a lead over Walker of 37,000 votes but fell short of the required 50% to prevent a runoff. In the runoff election on Tuesday, the senator appeared to be set for a more extensive final margin.
Walker, a football icon who initially rose to fame at the University of Georgia and subsequently in the NFL in the 1980s, was unable to successfully defend himself against several damning allegations, including the suggestion that he paid for the abortions of two previous girlfriends.
Walker, a fan and friend of former president Donald Trump, told supporters late Tuesday at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta that “the numbers look like they’re not going to add up.”
There are no justifications in life, and I won’t offer any now that we have fought so bravely.
The Democrats’ victory in Georgia confirms the state’s status as a critical battleground in the Deep South two years after Warnock and fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff won runoff elections in 2021 that gave their party control of the Senate just months after Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to beat Georgia in 30 years.
In the same election cycle that saw Republican Gov. Brian Kemp reelected with a landslide victory and an all-GOP slate of statewide constitutional officers, voters elected Warnock to the Senate.
Walker’s defeat is a bookend to the GOP’s challenges to win this year with flawed candidates made in Trump’s image, and it is a setback for the outgoing president as he prepares for his third White House run in 2024.
A power-sharing agreement with Republicans will no longer be necessary thanks to the Democrats’ new absolute majority in the Senate, and Vice President Kamala Harris won’t need to break as many ties.
National Democrats, whom Warnock had shunned during his campaign, rejoiced on Tuesday, with Joe Biden tweeting a picture of the senator he had just congratulated over the phone.
Biden tweeted from his official account, “Georgia voters stood up for our democracy, rejected Ultra MAGAism, and… sent a fine guy back to the Senate.”