Despite many contradictory predictions throughout the past couple of months, Democrats ended up rejoicing when Raphael Warnock narrowly defeated Herschel Walker and was reelected as Georgia’s senator on December 6. The lead up to the election was full of controversy and debate, with the failure of either candidate to gain a majority vote in the general election. By Georgia state law a runoff election was required.
Since Georgia has been traditionally recognized as a Republican state, many expected Walker to prevail. However, various controversial statements and past history damaged Walker’s support. While a solid advertising campaign strengthened Warnock’s run.
Warnock’s ads were designed by Adam Magnus, whose work has benefited many Democratic campaigns over the past 25 years. Among the many tactics employed
in Warnock’s campaign strategy, one of the most notable was the production of ads in Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean, resulting in increased support from Asian voters.
Walker’s controversial and often bewildering statements made throughout the campaign were a deciding factor for many voters. In 2009, he allegedly paid for an abortion, despite being an avid supporter of the pro-life movement. He claimed that the event never happened. Last December, Walker’s campaign website claimed that he graduated from the University of Georgia in the top one percent of his class, even though in reality, the candidate dropped out of college to play for the USFL.
Walker was a running back on multiple teams in the USFL and NFL from 1984 to 1997. Had he chosen not to enter politics, his legacy would likely have been far less tainted.
Walker’s campaign website was forced to retract its false claim regarding his class ranking and graduation after the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the misinformation. When Walker was questioned by Fox News, he denied ever making the claim in the first place.
Other false claims made by Walker included him being a supervisor of 6 US hospitals as well as a government agent and police officer.
When speaking about climate change, Walker went on record stating, “since we don’t control the air, our good air decide to float over to China, bad air. So when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move.”
This was not the only time Walker demonstrated his lack of knowledge about the concept of oxygen. When talking about his life story, he stated he was “the only one from a town that’s so small, if everyone breathed at the same time, you’d run out of oxygen”.
Warnock defeated Herschel by a vote of 1,816,096 to 1,719,483, with the majority of Democratic votes coming from the highly populated counties of Georgia. As per usual with voter distribution maps, the majority of less populated counties tended to vote solidly Republican.
The election of Warnock means that the US Senate’s democratic majority has increased by one senator, now putting the Democrat-Republican ratio at 51 to 49.