After Bruising Campaign Georgia Senate Run-off Election

Georgia Senate Run-off Election: For the fifth time in the last four years, Georgia’s seven million registered voters will cast ballots on Tuesday. This is because of a peculiarity in the state’s election law, which stipulates that in order to win statewide office in a general election, a candidate must receive at least 50% of the vote.

Candidates from both parties have missed it twice in the last four years. As a result, in 2021, Georgia will have to have a runoff election for both of its US Senate seats. The incumbent Democrat was a southern Baptist preacher from Dr Martin.

Luther King Jr.’s old church in downtown Atlanta named Raphael Warnock will face Republican former football star Herschel Walker, who is supported by former President Donald Trump and has been accused of paying for the abortions of wives and girlfriends despite claiming to be profoundly anti-abortion.

Both are vying for representation in a state that has been a focal point of recent political turmoil. It’s true that the midterm elections have already decided 99 out of 100 Senate seats, with the Democrats holding 50 and the Republicans holding 49.

The constitutional provision that the vice president shall have the casting vote in the Senate in the event of a tie means that the results of the runoff in Georgia will not affect the balance of power in that body. You may be wondering, then, what the big deal is with the Georgia runoff. Having 51 senators is preferable to having 50 senators on a fundamental level.

Meaning you can afford to lose just one supporter on a really contentious issue. For senators like Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from the solidly Republican state of West Virginia, this will be an issue in the upcoming 2024 election.

Georgia Senate Run-off Election
Georgia Senate Run-off Election

Georgia Senate Run-off Election

To keep his seat in 2024, Senator Manchin will need to persuade his conservative-minded constituents he’s no Joe Biden groupie, just as he’s proved he wields significant sway in the intricacies of legislative talks in the current Congress.

When you have 51 senators, you have more influence over the committee systems of the Senate, which are notoriously complex. One of the Senate’s primary responsibilities is to confirm nominees to the federal bench, a highly political procedure in this highly political society, and one in which you may more easily get your way if you control the Senate.

All of this means that the parties have poured tens of millions of dollars into this campaign, and television advertising has reached a fever pitch, despite the fact that the major motivating issue, Senate control, has already been decided. The extent that the election is close, the more savage the ads will be.

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Every vote matters since the margin between the two men are minimal. It’s been claimed that the two sides have spent a total of $70m (£57m) on their air war. Both have made attacks on the other’s person and history.

The Walker team has shown videos purportedly showing Raphael Warnock‘s ex-wife crying after an argument with her husband. They say he was in charge of a poor people’s apartment complex that was “full of human faeces and even decaying corpses,” and that “urine was thrown at the children” at a programme for troubled youth.

Warnock’s advertisements, however, have portrayed Herschel Walker as “wearing lies like a badge of honour,” suggesting that the latter’s supporters are trying to discredit him. In one unusual incident, the former football star allegedly claimed to have worked in law enforcement when he had not, and he is also accused of exaggerating his educational background, philanthropic contributions, and business career.

Concerning allegations of abuse and perceived hypocrisy on abortion have motivated associated political surrogates and action committees to target Mr Walker. Given all the negative press, it’s surprising he’s still polling so close to the frontrunner. What this shows is how tribal such races can be, as his fans have stuck by him despite everything.

To Mr Walker’s dismay, though, the figures show some concerning trends. On November 8th, he received fewer than fifty per cent of the vote, making him the first Republican statewide candidate to do so. That suggests a sizable fraction of Republicans voted against him.

As an example of Mr Walker’s difficulties with moderate Republicans, outgoing Republican Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan told the world this week that he had waited in line for an hour to vote early but ultimately decided against voting for Mr Walker.

However, Raphael Warnock must not rest on his laurels. While he and fellow Democrat John Ossoff won their run-off elections in early 2021, their successes went against the historical trend that has seen Republicans increase their vote in most run-offs in Georgia since the 1960s, as analysed by Five Thirty-Eight.

Mr Walker may not have helped himself by taking five days off over Thanksgiving in the key last push, and with no other Republicans on the ballot this time, it may be harder for him to convince party supporters to come out and vote at all.

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He has also had trouble getting major players to support his campaign, with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo being the week’s only notable exception. Whereas Raphael Warnock has both Barack and Michelle Obama on his side, both of whom have appeared in campaign advertising for him.

Many will be looking at the final figures to see what message they may send about Donald Trump’s presidential run possibilities, despite the fact that he has been a loud supporter of Mr Walker and even included him in his Mar-a-Lago presidential candidacy announcement.

After Tuesday’s election, Georgians may finally relax and enjoy themselves without worrying about voting, lines, or the constant, pugilistic battle that passes for politics in the Peach State for nearly two years.

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