Raphael Warnock’s victory breaks 50-50 tie, Party will enter Senate in 2023 with true majority. Democrat Raphael Warnock on Tuesday was projected to win a run -off election to represent Georgia in the US Senate against Republican challenger Herschel Walker, giving the party a slim 51-49 majority in the chamber. In a lose contest that attracted national & even global attention, Warnock, a pastor in an Atlanta church, was leading Walker, a former footballer, by about 1,00,000 votes (51.4% to 48.6%) with most of the 3 million ballots counted. With this Georgia win, the Democrats gain control over the senate.
As expected, Walker, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, won the rural, white-dominated counties in the state, polling about 1.7 million votes. But it was not enough to beat Warnock, whose approximately 1.8 million votes came mostly from black-dominated urban areas in Atlanta, Augusta & Augusta.
The run-off poll was triggered by a Georgia law that requires the winner get 50% plus vote, a ploy originally designed by the state’s rightist politicians to ensure their supremacy. Although both contenders for the seat were black, the Republican Party was derided for picking Walker, a laughably inept candidate barely able to stitch together a coherent sentence, in an effort to praise the seat from Democrats in what has become a battleground state with growing black population.
As he mumbled through the ice campaign, comedians joked that Walker’s candidature was “a political science experiment “ by Republicans in an attempt to see “just how crazy a candidate can be” and still get votes. Walker was Trump’s handpicked candidate & political analysts saw this as a setback to the former president & his MAGA constituency.
Warnock’s win breaks the 50-50 tie in the Senate that required vice- president Kamala Harris to babysit the chamber when required to use a casting vote. The party will now enter 2023 with a true Senate majority. It also gives Democrats a cushion to offset the capers of two conservative Democratic Senators, notably Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who held the party’s national agenda hostage to serve their constituencies.
Among other things, the US Senate also oversees the confirmation process of judges , ambassadors , and many senior administrative personnel. The deadlock in the Senate had held up many such confirmation hearings & votes,including that of the nominated US ambassador to India, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti . New Delhi has been without a U S ambassador for almost two years now.