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Raphael Warnock defeats Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race

The Democratic senator won his re-election bid against Walker, the scandal-plagued, Trump-backed political neophyte.


Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican Herschel Walker in his bid for re-election, NBC News has projected. The victory earns a six-year term for Warnock, grants Democrats a 51-49 edge in the Senate, and brings an end to Walker’s tortured run for office.

Ahead of Tuesday's runoff, Warnock's campaign relied on an extensive get-out-the-vote effort involving activist groups and more than 900 staffers — hundreds more than they had on staff ahead of the general election in November.

Warnock, Georgia's first Black senator, largely let Walker’s often incoherent words speak for themselves, a strategy that in the end benefited him greatlyWalker's rambling speeches became prime campaign material for Warnock and his surrogates.

Walker, a former NFL running back-turned-right-wing cheerleader, struggled to express intelligible political thoughts. Knowing he was bound to have problems, early on, his campaign plotted ways for him to smile, shake hands and wave at public events while providing minimal quotes. But controversies swirled around his campaign whether he was in or out of the public eye. 

The most notable ones concerned allegations from two ex-partners that he encouraged them to get abortions. This flew in the face of Walker’s public statements condemning abortion as “killing" babies, and his vow to support bans on the procedure. (Walker had denied the allegations.)

Warnock also made a mockery of Walker when he highlighted the Republican candidate’s false statements suggesting he’d worked as a cop. 

All things considered, I think the most shameful moment in the Walker campaign came in late October, when Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., basically admitted he was a token Black candidate used to make the GOP look less racist. 

To put it mildly, Walker’s campaign has not made the GOP look any less racist than it did prior. It has, miraculously, left many observers with a worse view of Walker than they had at the start of his campaign. 

So … congrats to him and the GOP on that.