1 DAY TO THE GEORGIA RUNOFF
It's become something of a new tradition in politics: We have the November general election. And then we have a high stakes runoff in Georgia. Granted, the stakes aren't quite as high in Tuesday's runoff between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker as they were nearly two years ago, when Democrats won a pair of Peach State runoffs to gain control of the Senate. This time, Democratic Senate control is already ensured, but a victory would give the party 51 seats — a number that would shift committee balances in their favor and offer them at least a little insulation in the 2024 election, when they face a daunting Senate map.
Democrats feel good about the early voting data for this runoff, but as always the question remains to what degree the early Democratic edge will be offset by Republican strength among Election Day voters. Key to this question is a specific type of voter: Republican-friendly, generally hostile to President Biden and the Democrats, but unwilling to pull the lever for Walker (at least in November). Indeed, what is most striking in reviewing the November general election results in Georgia is just how GOP-friendly the electorate was. Overall, per the exit poll, Georgia voters gave Biden just a 41% approval rating, several points worse than his national figure. And Republicans swept to victory in every other statewide race. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, for instance, easily bested Democrat Stacey Abrams by eight points. In finishing a point behind Warnock, Walker was the exception to an otherwise strong night for the Georgia GOP. This bloc of voters — those who voted for Kemp and other GOP candidates but not Walker — looms large in the runoff.
With Kemp now campaigning for Walker, will they turn out and do what they wouldn't in November and cast a ballot for Walker? Or will they just stay home? Or, for that matter, is their discomfort with Walker so pronounced that they would turn out and support Warnock?
MADDOWBLOG'S CAMPAIGN ROUND-UP
Politico asked Herschel Walker whether Republican voters in Georgia might be less motivated to vote in Tuesday's Senate runoff election. The GOP candidate said no, adding, "[T]he House will be even so they don't want to understand what is happening right now. You get the House, you get the committees. You get all the committees even, they just stall things within there." For the record, Walker is running for the Senate, not the House. What's more, the lower chamber will not be evenly split next year.
Meanwhile, a Democratic National Committee panel agreed on Friday to advance a new presidential nominating calendar that would jettison Iowa and demote New Hampshire. South Carolina would go first in the new model, followed a few days later by Nevada and New Hampshire. Georgia's primary would come a week later, followed by Michigan.
Read the rest of Steve Benen's round-up here.
Tonight, on the eve of the Georgia Senate runoff, Joy Reid hosts "The ReidOut" live from Atlanta and speaks with Sen. Raphael Warnock about the latest on his race against Herschel Walker. Watch The ReidOut with Joy Reid, tonight at 7pm ET.
A bonus episode of "The Revolution with Steve Kornacki" is available now. The series recounts the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, influenced by Newt Gingrich, that changed both political parties forever. Now, Steve sits down with Newt Gingrich himself to discuss the podcast and the impact of his legacy today. Listen now.