Hello and happy Sunday. Our long national nightmare, ummm, I mean the 2022 midterm election, is finally over. On Tuesday, incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia’s Senate runoff. After all that, the GOP enjoys a slim House majority and the Democrats control the Senate 51-49. Gridlock, anyone?
We’ll see what the new Congress will be able to get done in January when the new term starts (and there are a few things Dems hope to get done in the lame-duck session too). But that gives us time to do just a little more postgame analysis of what ended up being a very revealing election. And the Georgia result served to confirm the biggest reveal of all: Donald Trump is pretty unpopular outside of his base.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp won easily, despite his refusal to support Trump’s efforts to steal the 2020 election. Yet Walker lost the runoff in the same state to Warnock by nearly 3 points. The real loser in the race might have been Donald Trump. Walker won his primary easily—and likely could have done so without Trump’s endorsement, given his status as a college football legend in Georgia. The candidate then distanced himself from Trump in the general and especially in the month between Election Day and this week’s runoff.
Even before Warnock’s victory on Tuesday, some Republicans whom Andrew spoke to at a Walker rally in Georgia sounded ready to move on from Trump. “You know, not that I hate him, I just think the country’s burned out on him,” one man said. “Somebody who’s a fighter but less divisive in some ways would be better.” Anyone in particular come to mind? “I like the Florida governor myself,” another rally goer said.