Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., will win reelection to the U.S. Senate in Georgia, defeating Republican Herschel Walker, Newsmax projected as of 9:48 p.m. ET.
National radio host Todd Starnes blamed Establishment Republicans and Never Trumpers for the loss.
“I blame the Establishment Republicans like Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan who openly campaigned against Herschel Walker,” Starnes said. “They were so overcome by Trump Derangement Syndrome that they gladly sabotaged the election.”
During a CBS interview, Duncan, 47, said I’ve “got kids probably that could articulate the conservative platform better than some of the candidates that Donald Trump and his group supported all across the country.”
He continued, “This wasn’t the right brand for Republicanism. I think Herschel Walker will probably go down as one of the worst candidates in our party’s history.”
Starnes said the Georgia Republican Party should censure Duncan and ban him from ever running as a Republican.
“The man is a shameful coward,” Starnes said.
With 84% of the estimated vote tallied, Walker led Warnock by 50.34%-49.66% when Newsmax elections analysts called the race.
FOLLOW TODD ON TWITTER:
The villain in the Georgia Senate race is @GeoffDuncanGA and other Establishment Republicans who refused to support their party's nominee. They expect conservatives to shut up and support RINO candidates, but they sabotage conservative candidates.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) December 7, 2022
A victory by Warnock gives Democrats a 51-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate, which would make it slightly easier to advance President Joe Biden’s nominees for judicial and administrative posts. Most legislation would still require Republican support.
Also 51-49 Democrat advantage in the Senate would mean that the party would no longer have to negotiate a power-sharing deal with Republicans and will not have to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris to break as many tie votes.
The runoff set early voting records in Georgia in a race that has become the most expensive of the 2022 U.S. midterm election season, with more than $400 million spent so far. The contest went to a runoff after neither candidate secured 50% of the vote Nov. 8.
At least 1.9 million people cast their votes before Election Day, equal to 47% of the Nov. 8 turnout, and state election official Gabe Sterling has said he expected 1 million more would vote Tuesday.
Warnock is pastor of the historic Atlanta church where assassinated civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. preached. Both Warnock and Walker are Black.
Warnock edged him 49.44% to 48.49% in November, even as Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and other statewide Republican candidates easily won reelection.
This is the third Senate runoff in two years in the state – and the second for Warnock, who first won the seat in a runoff in January 2021. Republicans won a narrow majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nov. 8 election, but fell short of the “red wave” that some in the party had forecast, despite flagging approval ratings for Biden.