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Georgia Smartens Up, Picks Warnock Over Walker

Whew—Georgia got smarter over the past month and managed not to elected a dangerous idiot to the United States Senate. In yesterday’s runoff election, Georgians reëlected Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock to his first full six-year term and rejected muddled-headed Republican mental-illness poster child Herschel Walker.

Turnout was predictably lower for the December 6 runoff than for the November 8 general. The Georgia Secretary of State reports that 57.02% of Georgia voters showed up for the November election; with 99% of precincts counted, only 50.47% of Georgia voters appear to have cast ballots for this month’s single-contest run-off.

But a small portion (0.4 percentage points) of that turnout decline came from new voter registration. The deadline for registering to vote in the runoff was actually November 7, before anyone knew there would be a runoff, so voter registration efforts by the Warnock and Walker campaigns during the past four weeks wouldn’t have produced more voters for either candidate. However, between October 11 (the deadline for registering to vote in the general) and November 7, Georgia netted 54,778 new voters.

Those new voters and everyone else who showed up for the runoff leaned toward Warnock more strongly than the general electorate. Warnock increased his vote percentage from 49.44% in November to 51.38% yesterday, a 1.93-point gain. Walker’s total crept up from 48.49% to 48.62%, a meager 0.13-point gain.

Now remember, both men saw fewer voters bother to get off the couch and come vote for them, but Walker’s drop-off was 46.5% bigger than Warnock’s. 188,574 fewer people cast votes for Walker in the runoff than in the general; that’s 9.9% of his November voters. Warnock lost 128,652 of his November voters, a 6.6% drop-off.

This math is loose and filled with assumptions. Some of each man’s drop-off could include people switching their votes from November, not just no-shows. The December ballots don’t provide that information.

But whatever the details of each candidate’s runoff drop-off, consider: if we add those drop-offs back to each man’s column—i.e., if Walker had gotten those 188,574 November Walker voters to come vote for him again yesterday, and if Warnock and done the same with his 128,652 runoff no-shows—Walker would have won the election by just over 22,000 votes, 50.27% to 49.73%.

It is possible that Walker’s larger general-to-runoff drop-off and his resulting loss simply demonstrate that Walker voters were less engaged or lazier. It could show that Republicans were more dispirited by their failure to take the Senate and didn’t see as much reason to hold the Democrats to a VP-tiebreak-only majority as Democrats were motivated to dunk on Republicans by adding one more seat for a genuine Manchin-muffling Senate majority.

But Warnock’s greater percentage gain and runoff win could show a simpler result: Warnock and Walker got another month to communicate with voters, and with the media field cleared of all other candidates and the spotlight exclusively on these two candidates, more Georgians saw that the incumbent Democrat, a well-educated Georgia pastor and experienced policymaker, was the far more qualified candidate than a rambling, lying, violent former football player carpetbagging from Texas.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-12-07 07:28

    “‘The idea that Georgia, of all places, could elect two communists to the United States Senate was ridiculous,” Noem said in her speech.’”

  2. ArielMN 2022-12-07 09:10

    Communists. Kristi, I don’t think you know the meaning of the word.
    I am disappointed that it was that close.

  3. Mark Anderson 2022-12-07 10:09

    Well, Warnock is a minister but I doubt he’ll put oil crosses on Capital meeting chairs like those real Christians in South Dakota. Maybe Walker will move from Texas to South Dakota if Kristi asks him. When does Rounds run anyway?

  4. Nix 2022-12-07 10:40

    In 1968 just before the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Jerry Rubin and Abby Hoffman nominated
    Pigasus, a 145 lb. Pig for President of the United States.
    I guess history does repeat itself.

  5. O 2022-12-07 10:53

    The idea that the South Dakota Governor would say that Georgia elected two communists to the Senate is ridiculous.

    Walker can always run again from his home state of Texas.

    I hated this campaign because I never got to hear anything from and very little about Warnock. it was all Walker all the time. The only question seemed to be was Walker too stupid/hypocritical/unqualified to vote for? It felt like a referendum on Walker. I guess that is expectation in the era of celebrity candidate.

  6. e platypus onion 2022-12-07 11:46

    I believe Cory has mentioned magats don’t care about their candidates lack of qualifications or even if he/she/it is a resident of the state they want to serve. Magats only care about getting and retaining majorities in both houses.

  7. larry kurtz 2022-12-07 11:58

    Few policymakers dispute the reasons educated people are fleeing my home state of South Dakota.

    The state’s governor is a reactionary cracker. Infrastructure is crumbling. Industrial agriculture is smothering wildlife habitat. Churches are girding for gun violence. Meth has replaced alcohol as the state’s drug of choice. Pierre’s culture of corruption and attacks on kids have ended open government. Native wildlife are being exterminated to make way for disease-ridden domestic livestock and exotic fowl. Jails far outnumber colleges. Bankers continue to enslave landowners and the state’s medical industry triopoly operates without scrutiny.

  8. ABC 2022-12-07 12:09

    Really, Noem ? Two communists in Georgia? You’re such a blinking idiot! You’re a white female Walker! Did the Democrats in Pierre stand up and boo her when she said that?

    Only idiots voted Noem into office twice!
    Since she is addicted to lying, I urge all of you, start your own private legislatures, if you have $5 set up your own legislature with no elections, no laws passed, no taxes levied. Spend your $5 on donations to nonprofits or start a gre a t new project for $5 that will produce more good than the Puerre legislature does! I’m doing it. You can!

    Rev. Warnock is a Minister! Noem, stop lying!

  9. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-07 14:02

    If only the South Dakotans I know up here north of Sisseton knew
    how bad things really are here in South Dakota. There would be much
    weeping and gnashing of teeth. And groaning and wailing too.

  10. David Newquist 2022-12-07 14:24

    A sportswriter friend of mine covered Walker when he played for the Vikings. He gave some insights into Walker’s false claims about his educational achievements–he claimed to be a sterling scholar, but dropped out of college. However, his achievements as an athlete are beyond dispute. The real concern for the country is that despite the revelations about Walker’s exaggerations and his personal behavior, 48 percent of the Georgia voters went for him. That can partly be attributed to his performance as an athlete and the fact that he was a star on Georgia high school and college teams. I do not understand the reasons that a similar percentage votes for Trump. His record as a businessman is just more evidence of his defective character.

    The sports writer raised some hackles many years ago when he wrote about Walker, who had registered complaints about how he was being shuffled around to various positions in the backfield. The writer commented that to the people in the football executive suite, Walker was just “another field n****r whose lot in life was to do whatever ol’ massa told him to.” He noted that Walker tried hard to be accepted in the white man’s world which made him say and do things he thought would gain their approval and acceptance.

    During election day, news commentators asked what would happen if Walker lost the election, but, like Trump, refused to accept the results. As it turned out, Walker gave a manly and graceful concession speech. That puts the focus back on the magats and the malignancy they pose for democracy. As citizens, our attention is focused on individuals such as Trump and Walker, while the most threatening aberrancy is the people who vote for them. The
    Rev. Warnock said in his speech that ultimately. we are all Americans. That is not true. Ultimately, there is a 48 percent who are opposed to everything America claims to stand for. They are the ones we should be examining in terms of the future of democracy.

  11. M 2022-12-07 17:03

    Why did Noem have to use the word communist? Well, around here, to the youth, she’s a fascist and it’s no wonder the seniors last year voted her down as speaker for their graduation. Their advisor thought otherwise, and Noem was scheduled anyway. One month before graduation, parents found out that Noem was not the student’s choice for speaker and spoke out at a school board meeting and through an article in the local paper. The school board stood by the advisor’s decision, but it was Noem who cancelled. I guess she was afraid of what some seniors or audience members were going to do.

    Our youth are tired of bullies so when a governor from S.D. calls senators from other states communists, it’s just beyond the pale. Aren’t we all humans, Americans, parents and grandparents who want to be role models for our youth and have the very best for them in mind?

    She needs to quit pinning people against each other and get her ass to governing.

  12. Jake 2022-12-07 17:05

    David Newquist you are so right on the money! The 48% who voted for him are what is wrong with our political system as it stands now. They seem to believe anything a slick huckster tells them: -proving old P.T. Barnum (of circus owner fame) was right when he said, “Yep, there’s a sucker born every minute!” about 1/2 of our country has absolutely no concept of society beyond their own little circle of friends and cohorts. They look at the politics of who want to be in charge of running our government as a sports team favorite who can do no wrong! That anyone would want a man as senator who secured abortions for his girlfriends, threatened/beat his wife, left his kids, lied about his life’s history extensively, etc etc etc. Reminds me of someone else who did as bad or worse that was held up as a semi-god personality by the same % of people.

  13. grudznick 2022-12-07 18:28

    Is this the same Mr. Walker who was a Dallas Cowboy Football Player? That’s just insaner than all get out. The fellow probably has the CTE. Of course the other side of this is that the woke mob was out to get this fellow as most of the woke mob are Washington Football Team fans.

  14. Mark Anderson 2022-12-07 19:00

    Gudz, the Awake magazine by your friendly Jehovah Witnesses has some great morning breakfasts in it. Check it out and you’ll be woke and full of goodness. It’s as good as All along the watchtower that Dylan wrote while he was a witness. There are many here among us. That’s no joke.

  15. Bob Newland 2022-12-07 19:58

    Grudznutz is every bit as big a POS as Herschel Walker. Of course, Grudznutz will not expose who it really is, and I therefore vote for Walker over Grudznutz.

  16. grudznick 2022-12-07 20:02

    Mr. Walker is a pretty swell fellow. grudznick would vote for him, too, unless Calvin Hill was also running.

  17. larry kurtz 2022-12-07 20:06

    Mr. Walker is a christian like Mrs. Noem is a scholar.

  18. Dicta 2022-12-08 08:56

    Walker came across as not smart. Very not smart. Even his supporters admitted it. And then they voted for him in huge numbers. Pretty sweet country we got here.

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