Drop in Republican turnout means a bigger win for Warnock

Warnock or Walker

gain over Nov. election

Percentage point

margin shift

 

D

R

+2

+4

+6

Atlanta

Augusta

Columbus

Savannah

Warnock or Walker

gain over Nov. election

Percentage point margin shift

 

D

R

+2

+4

+6

Atlanta

Augusta

Henry County

+3.1D

Columbus

Savannah

Democrats padded their Senate majority on Tuesday night thanks in part to a rebuke of the Republican candidate in Georgia’s suburbs.

Turnout was somewhat lower in Tuesday’s runoff than in the November general election, by about 400,000 voters, but Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) more than doubled his lead over Republican Herschel Walker. The Democrat led by about 95,000 votes as of Wednesday, besting his 37,000-vote margin in the general election.

Both candidates fought to get voters back to the polls just a month after the Nov. 8 general election. Runoff elections, triggered when no candidate receives more than 50 percent, regularly have lower turnout. About 3.5 million voters showed up for the runoff versus 3.9 million in November’s general election.

Percentage point margin shift

since November

D

R

+2

+4

+6

+4D

Urban counties

53K votes fewer than in Nov.

Atlanta

+2.4D

Suburban counties

239K votes fewer

Augusta

Columbus

Savannah

+0.7D

Rural counties

102K votes fewer

Atlanta

Percentage point margin shift since November

D

R

+2

+4

+6

Urban counties

+4D

Suburban counties

+2.4D

Rural counties

+0.7D

53K votes fewer than in Nov.

239K votes fewer

102K votes fewer

Augusta

Atlanta

Atlanta

Columbus

Savannah

Walker was seemingly unable to turn out the voters he needed to offset Warnock’s advantages in urban and suburban areas. While Warnock won suburban areas by 190,000 votes in November, he led them by 223,000 in the December runoff.

Walker, plagued by several scandals during his campaign, had already shown weakness in these areas: The ex-football star had already underperformed Gov. Brian Kemp, also a Republican, significantly in the vote-rich Atlanta suburbs in November.

Turnout decrease by party

and region compared

to the Nov. election

North

Georgia

Piedmont

South

Georgia

Black Belt

Atlanta

Suburbs

Atlanta

8k

9k

13k

13k

15k

votes

fewer

24k

26k

32k

36k

36k

49k

49k

votes

fewer

Turnout decrease by party and region compared to

the Nov. election

North

Georgia

Piedmont

South

Georgia

Black Belt

Atlanta

Suburbs

Atlanta

10k votes

fewer than

in Nov.

20k

24k

30k

40k

North Georgia had 49k fewer Republican

votes than in Nov. Democratic votes only

decreased by around 15k.

49k

That turnout drop, especially in Atlanta’s exurban counties in North Georgia, hurt Walker. Forsyth County provided 66,000 votes in Walker’s November outing but only 58,000 in December. In adjacent Cherokee County, Walker dropped from 81,000 to 72,000. Although Walker still won both counties, both shifted closer toward Warnock this time.

That same trend held true in the rural areas that Walker dominated: In the runoff, he won rural areas by 319,000 votes, compared to his 358,000 lead there in November.

In a continued trend from November, counties south of Atlanta delivered clear shifts toward Warnock. Diversifying Henry County, for instance, has moved toward Democrats faster than any other in Georgia, flipping from a Republican stronghold to a Democratic one in only a few years, The Post’s Theodoric Meyer reported on Monday. A 10 percent drop in overall turnout resulted in 3,400 fewer votes for Warnock, but 4,400 fewer for Walker.

Unlike previous runoffs, more educated and higher income areas were less enthusiastic about voting in the runoff, according to a Post analysis of precinct-level results. In the quarter of precincts with the smallest share of college educated registered voters, turnout fell by 9.2 percent compared to November. In precincts with the highest share of college educated voters, turnout fell by 10.5 percent.

Similarly, areas with the lowest median household incomes saw an 8.4 percent drop-off in voters, while those with the highest median household income fell by 10.9 percent.

Turnout figures will increase as additional ballots are counted on Wednesday.

Turnout dropped 10 percent this runoff, similar to Georgia’s 2021 runoff election for Senate when it fell 9 percent from about 4.9 million to roughly 4.5 million, according to Edison Research. Still, the recent elections represent high enthusiasm in a runoff: In the state’s 2008 and 1992 Senate elections, turnout dropped by 43 percent between the general election and the runoff.

Lenny Bronner, Dara Gold and Scott Clement contributed to this report.

Sources: Georgia Secretary of State, voter data from L2, Associated Press election results.

The 2022 Midterm Elections

Georgia runoff election: Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) won re-election in the Georgia Senate runoff, defeating Republican challenger Herschel Walker and giving Democrats a 51st seat in the Senate for the 118th Congress. Get live updates here and runoff results by county.

Divided government: Republicans narrowly won back control of the House, while Democrats will keep control of the Senate, creating a split Congress.

What the results mean for 2024: A Republican Party red wave seems to be a ripple after Republicans fell short in the Senate and narrowly won control in the House. Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign shortly after the midterms. Here are the top 10 2024 presidential candidates for the Republicans and Democrats.

Loading...
Loading...