I went to bed last night after the same-day votes from Dekalb County, Georgia began to come in and made it clear that Reverend Warnock had secured his reelection bid and thus had made life a whole lot easier for Majority Leader Schumer and Senate Democrats to conduct business for the next two years.
Though I was elated at Warnock’s victory, at the time I shut MSNBC’s coverage of the race off, he was only leading by a sparse 1% of the vote 50.5% – 49.5%… hardly a resounding mandate.
But upon awakening this morning I read that the results from Fulton County had pushed that margin to almost 3 percentage points 51.4% – 48.6% and was somewhat comforted that the gains that Democrats had made there in 2020 seemed to be holding.
But Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp’s resounding defeat of Stacey Abrams just a month ago, by more than 7 points, should caution us that the state may not be reliably purple going forward and probably, though reluctantly, we may have to admit we owe a debt of gratitude to the Orangeutan for our success there both in 2020… and last night.
The fact that Herschel Walker made us all watch the results come in as closely as we did speaks to the strength of the hold drumpf has over his base – that through his will alone he could turn them out in such numbers to support such a supremely unqualified candidate.
But Kemp’s success against Abrams shows that Walker lost the support of sizable numbers of Republican and independent voters who could not bring themselves to pull the lever for a candidate so closely associated with drumpf, whom outgoing GOP Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska characterizes as “a clown trying to sell tickets to his circus.”
Time after time last evening, MSNBC’s guru of the election night video board Steve Kornacki pointed out that in the red counties of Georgia Kemp had won over Abrams last month by northward of 75% of the votes, Walker remained mired in the middle or lower 60s.
This reflects a strategy employed by Warnock’s campaign to great success:
Warnock deputy campaign mgr @RachelNPetri tells me: "Creating a permission structure for soft Republicans, swing voters and independents to support Reverend Warnock was key to our strategy, and why we highlighted things like working w/ Ted Cruz or standing up for peanut farmers."
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) December 7, 2022
And also demonstrates the ultimate electoral weakness of drumpf in purplish states – that some percentage of Republican voters, and probably a greater number of independents, will not support him or those in his clown posse in future elections.
The conundrum for the Republican Party is are there also some unknown number of supporters of Diaper Don that will not bother to vote at all unless their hero’s name, or those he explicitly endorses, is on the ballot.
How Republicans navigate these dangerous straits in the coming years will dictate their electoral success or failure.
But there is little doubt that drumpf, with his stupid support of MAGA sycophants like Dr. Oz, Blake Masters and Walker cost them any chance at recovering the Senate this year.
The only question to be answered is whether the cost to them is greater if they cut him loose or hold fast to him?
It will be interesting to see how it plays out.