One of the more confusing parts of election night 2020 was seeing Georgia go from a sure thing to a narrow victory by fewer than 12,000 votes for Joe Biden. Accusations of fraud and irregularities aside, that stung. It doesn’t help to know that illegal votes may have swung the election to Biden; what good does that do us now? Of course, the salt in the wound from that election was the two special elections for the U.S. Senate that saw Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win, delivering Democrats the majority in the U.S. Senate—albeit a narrow one.
All because of Georgia—a red state. The last time Georgia voted Democrat was in 1992.
In November, we have two key elections in the Peach State—the gubernatorial election between incumbent Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams, and the U.S. Senate election between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.
Despite all the high hopes the left has had for Stacey Abrams, she’s run a lousy campaign and Kemp has been leading in all of the most recent polls—and his standing has improved as of late. The latest Trafalgar Group poll has Kemp ahead by seven points, and the latest Insider Advantage Poll has him up eight.
The race between Walker and Warnock, however, is a different story. Warnock surprisingly receives some support from moderate Republicans and has had the advantage in this race through most of the summer. Quinnipiac had Warnock up by as much as 10 points in June. Fox News had Warnock up by four points at the end of July.
But momentum in this race now belongs to Herschel Walker, who has led Warnock in the last three polls monitored by RealClearPolitics.
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) September 9, 2022
As much as I’d love to jump for joy at this development, we’re still two months away from Election Day. Anything can happen between now and then. His relationship with Trump earned him his endorsement, but as much as I hate to admit it, Herschel Walker hasn’t proven himself to be the strongest candidate. Despite Georgia being a state Republicans shouldn’t have to fight too hard to keep in the Republican column, we’re now fighting to bring just one of two Senate seats that had been in Republican hands back. Ossoff isn’t up for reelection until 2026, and that may be a more difficult seat to win back.
But for now, winning the seat back from Warnock appears to be possible again. Kemp’s lead against Abrams has grown, and the recent polling showing Walker ahead gives us plenty of reason to feel confident that we can right the wrongs of 2020 and 2021. Democrats came into 2022 with a map favorable to their chances, and all they need to do to keep their majority is hold on to all five battleground seats. Republicans can’t afford to lose Georgia if they want to take back the majority.
Even the New York Times recently sounded the alarm that Democrats shouldn’t take their Senate majority for granted.
“Republicans might very well do better than the pundits expect. And that is keeping some Democratic strategists up at night,” the paper reported, before warning that “unlike in the House, which is more sensitive to national trends, Senate races tend to be state-by-state contests. So it’s possible that coastal Democratic strongholds like California and New York are pushing up Biden’s numbers in ways that aren’t reflected in battleground states.”
So, from the bottom of my heart, Georgians, please don’t screw this up.