Rural Georgia Rallies for Walker, But Is Outdone by Metro Voting
It’s all over now. Four weeks of intense campaigning and advertising by the candidates in Georgia’s Senate runoff came to a close on Election Day last week. As we all know, Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a battle commentators defined as a horse race. In the end, Warnock edged by for a win with 51.65 % of the vote to Walker’s 48.65%.
As expected, rural Georgia pulled hard for Walker, and Warnock, was heavily supported in the metro-Atlanta area and in several municipalities across the state that traditionally go blue. But if the race had been decided in this area, Walker would have won by a landslide.
In Toombs County, Walker garnered 74.57% of the vote to Warnock’s 25.43%. In Montgomery County, Walker amassed 75.27% of balloting while Warnock pulled in only 24.73% of the vote. In Wheeler County, Walker won 75.27% of the vote, with Warnock receiving 24.73%.
Nearly 2 million Georgians cast early votes in the runoff and on Election Day, over 50% of the state’s 7 million plus registered voters turned out, making this one of the most high profile races in Georgia’s history.
While the Senate majority had been decided in the General Election in November, Warnock's victory in the last ballot box showdown of the 2022 midterm elections gave Democrats a 51-49 margin in the chamber and a bit of an edge in their slim control of the Senate.
Two years ago, the Democrats' sweep of the twin Georgia Senate runoffs gave them the majority, but Warnock's recent victory gives his party control of committees. This affords Democrats the ability to move legislation and nominations more easily to the Senate floor.
The December 6 runoff was necessitated after Warnock led Walker by roughly 37,000 votes out of nearly 4 million cast in November’s General Election. However, since neither candidate topped 50% of the vote required by Georgia law to secure victory, the race headed to a runoff. Warnock dramatically out-raised Walker in the runoff campaign, and the senator and allied Democratic groups out spent Walker by a roughly twoto- one margin to run ads during the month-long runoff showdown.