Political elections can be downright confusing at times.
Take Georgia’s 2022 General Election for example.
Republicans swept all statewide offices from governor on down. Not one Republican running statewide needed a runoff. They won outright on Nov. 8.
That is with the exception of one: The U.S. Senate race between Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. That race is going to a runoff.
In fact, Warnock, the Democrat, came within an eyelash of winning the race without a runoff needing only about half a percentage point more to claim victory. The two will battle it out in overtime on Dec. 6.
Pundits have offered reasons as to why Walker finished second in this race. In reality, the reason is rather simple: Walker, despite his celebrity status in the state, has a ton of flaws.
While a large majority of voters will always vote for the nominee of their party of choice, it seems some Republican voters could not even hold their nose and vote for Walker. One Republican voter told me, in fact, that “there are some things you simply cannot overlook.”
There were numerous charges that surrounded Walker during the campaign including paying for abortions of former girlfriends, to threatening to a kill a former wife to shady business practices.
Some, of course, voted for Walker anyway. He was the Republican nominee and that was all that was needed for him to get their vote.
Yet, it seems thousands who voted for other GOP candidates either left the U.S. Senate race blank or perhaps voted for Libertarian Chase Oliver. I doubt many voted for Warnock but there may have been a handful.
It remains to be seen what happens in the runoff. Waker could very well win the race. Runoffs in Georgia typically have favored Republican candidates but that changed in 2020 when Warnock and fellow Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff both won.
Ossoff defeated Republican incumbent David Perdue which was surprising. Warnock’s win against Republican Kelly Loeffler was not as surprising other than a Democratic candidate actually won a statewide race in Georgia.
Loeffler, who was appointed to the seat by Gov. Brian Kemp, did very little of note while holding the position other than to say she “supported President Donald Trump 100% of the time.” That makes for a good blind loyalist, for sure, but not an effective U.S. Senator.
All of this brings us back to the Walker campaign. On paper, one can see why he is a good choice for Republicans. His name recognition is out the roof. His football days at the University of Georgia ended 40 years ago but he still has mythical status among Bulldog fans.
Walker says all the right things in terms of Republican talking points.
Yet, he was not pushed into the office by Republican voters, at least not yet.
With Democrats already holding the advantage in the U.S. Senate beginning in 2023, will Georgia Republicans feel an urgency to help elect Walker? If they didn’t in the General Election, why would they in the runoff?
The race has already set absurd standards for the millions upon millions of dollars spent by both candidates.
What will happen on
Dec. 6? It’s really anyone's guess but a Warnock victory would no longer be shocking.
You can say a lot about Georgia politics but you can never say they are predictable or boring.