Headline RoundupDecember 7th, 2022

Warnock Beats Walker in Georgia Senate Runoff, Giving Dems 51-49 Senate Edge

AllSides Summary

Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock beat Republican challenger Herschel Walker in Tuesday's 2022 Georgia Senate runoff election. Democrats now hold 51 Senate seats to Republicans' 49.

Key Quotes: "Thank you, Georgia. We did it again," said Warnock on Twitter. In his concession speech, Walker told supporters that "we put up one heck of a fight."

For Context: The $401 million race was forced to a runoff after neither candidate secured 50% of the vote in the general election. Democrats would have had the vice presidential tie-breaker in a 50-50 Senate anyway, but a key advantage provided by Warnock's win is the fact that the 1-seat advantage allows the party to hold majorities on all Senate committees. That's particularly important for presidential appointments, such as lifetime judicial appointments. Walker's loss caps a disappointing 2022 election cycle for Republicans, who failed to flip any Democrat-held Senate seats. It's the first time any president has seen all incumbent senators of their party run for and win reelection since 1934.

How the Media Covered It: Warnock's win was the top story from sources across the spectrum, and news outlets' framing of the candidates differed starkly along partisan lines. Left-rated sources focused more on Walker's personal controversies, including allegations that he physically abused women and paid for an ex-lover's abortion. Right-rated outlets focused on the overall success of Walker's first political campaign more than left- and center-rated sources did.

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