Warnock wins in Georgia, giving Dems complete Senate majority


(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during an election night watch party, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Atlanta. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia.

Colin Moorhead II, Staff Reporter

Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker for the US Senate seat in Georgia. The election was decided 51.4%-48.6% in favor of Warnock after the race was forced to a runoff election due to no candidates receiving more than 50% of the vote on Nov. 8.  

The Georgia senate race was crucial regarding the control of power within the Senate. If Republicans won the seat, the Senate would have remained in a 50-50 split, giving more room for the Republicans to block legislation from the Biden administration. With Warnock’s reelection, the Democrats now have full control of the Senate with a 51-49 majority. This true majority does more than just give numbers to Democrats for voting procedure; it also allows them to have a majority in committees. Former President Barack Obama remarked that, “an extra senator gives Democrats more breathing room on important bills. It prevents one person from holding out everything.” 

Herschel Walker was former President Donald Trump’s handpicked candidate, one of many in the 2022 midterm elections. Despite the endorsement of the biggest leader in the Republican Party, Walker failed to defeat his challenger, even with Governor Brian Kemp’s name on the top of the ticket. Governor Kemp won with 53.4% of the vote, defeating Stacy Abrams who received 45.9%. This election has proved that Georgia is one of the most influential swing states, in terms of federal elections. 

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker speaks during a campaign stop at the Governors Gun Club in Kennesaw, Ga., on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. ((AP Photo/Ben Gray))

Warnock outspent Walker in the month between the general election and the runoff. Democrats outperformed Republicans on commercials and advertisements by a two-to-one ratio. With such a heated election, it was vital to keep the interest of the public to maintain their support for the runoff election. 

Madison Bohacek ‘23, the secretary for John Carroll University’s College Republicans, stated “I did expect the Georgia race to be as close as it was.

“Pointing out what the Republicans think the Democrats are doing wrong isn’t enough anymore,” said Bohacek. “Republicans need to be more active in embracing the call to run for office and working to bring people from blue to red. Even though Republicans lost the Senate, they still need to put the American people first as seen through uplifting school choice, protecting the border and bringing back American values.” 

Max Malley ‘24, a student at John Carroll University and member of College Democrats, said he “…expected the race to be closer. 

“I hope that Democrats continue to prop up ‘unelectable’ candidates in GOP primaries. This is a risky strategy, but I believe it works,” Malley argued. “We would likely be looking at a 50-50 Senate right now if Republicans nominated a candidate without even a fraction of the baggage that Walker had.

“There is not a whole lot they can do without control of the House,” Malley argued. “Schumer and the Senate leadership must focus on piecemeal legislation and seeking out the small victories where they can get them in order to boost Biden’s image heading into 2024. And since the majority is now 51-49, judicial nominees must be confirmed each and every day if possible…Now that Democrats have full committee control, judicial nominees could potentially be confirmed at a break-neck pace.”

Editor’s Note: This article was written and scheduled for publication before the news broke of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema switching party affiliation from Democratic to Independent. As of now, the Senate count is 50-49-1 in favor of the Democrats.