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With more than 90% of the votes counted, Decision Desk called the race for Raphael Warnock, who, again, prevailed in a Georgia runoff. The incumbent legislator narrowly edged out Herschel Walker and will serve a full term in the Senate.
In a very close election, which will be defined by a few thousand votes, the Democrat improved his performance in almost all counties compared to November, especially in Atlanta and its suburbs.
Although Walker also did well in many rural counties, the majority of the remaining vote is in the most populous parts of the state, precisely where Warnock is strongest.
This victory has two very important implications. First, Georgia will have two Democratic senators until 2026, when Jon Ossoff will put his seat in play. The second, and perhaps more relevant, means that Joe Biden will have a “true” majority in the Upper House. In other words, he would no longer need Kamala Harris’ vote to break a tie.
In key votes, when the filibuster filter is not present, it will be enough for the president to have the troops aligned, something that did not happen in the first two years of his administration, when the Senate was split down the middle.
Other media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times and Fox News, projected the Georgia race with 95 percent of the votes counted and a 1.2 percent difference in Warnock’s favor, although the margin is expected to stretch to two percentage points.
Walker couldn’t match Kemp’s numbers in Georgia
As for the reasons for the GOP’s defeat, the main one that stands out is the “baggage” of the candidate, who lugged a lot of scandals to the election. Walker again fell short of Brian Kemp’s numbers, mainly in the Atlanta suburbs and in Cherokee and Forsyth, the counties with the largest Republican vote in the state.
“Herschel had a ton of baggage he was not transparent about, and we were constantly behind the eight ball,” expressed a person close to the campaign, in dialogue with POLITICO.
Senator Warnock: “This is America”
In a move that seemed almost rehearsed, the charismatic senator came on stage moments after Walker finished his concession speech. To general cheers, he stepped up to the microphone and could only utter a “whoa!”
As the excitement ebbed, Warnock assured, “I am Georgia.” “I am an example and an iteration of its history, of its peril and promise, of the brutality and the possibilities. But because this is America, because we always have a path to make our country greater against unspeakable odds, here we stand together,” he added.
In addition, in an emotional moment of the speech, he thanked his mother. “I want to say thank you to my mother, who is here tonight,” he told the crowd. “You’ll see her in a little while. But she grew up in the 1950s in Waycross, Ga., picking somebody else’s cotton and somebody else’s tobacco. But tonight she helped pick her youngest son to be a United States senator,” he said.
Walker conceded the race with an encouraging message
Just minutes after the media decreed Warnock’s victory, the Republican came out on stage, where he conceded defeat and took about three minutes to speak to his supporters.
“But one of the things I want to tell all of you is you never stop dreaming. I don’t want any of you to stop dreaming,” the former athlete said.
“I don’t want any of you to stop believing in America. I want you to believe in America and continue to believe in the constitution and believe in our elected officials most of all,” he added, and then greeted his family in attendance.
With this defeat, the final numbers in the Senate will be 51 Democrats and 49 Republicans, the Democrats’ first “real” majority since 2014, when they held 53 senators.
Thus, Biden will have at least one chamber under his control, albeit with the second slimmest majority.
News in progress…
Joaquín Núñez es licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política nacional norteamericana. Confeso hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda. Contacto: [email protected] // Joaquín Núñez has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and national American politics. Confessed fan of Racing Club of Avellaneda. Contact: [email protected]