Senator Raphael Warnock’s win in yesterday’s Georgia Senate runoff capped a commanding show of strength by Democrats in the states that decided the 2020 race for the White House—and will likely pick the winner again in 2024.
With Warnock’s victory over Republican Herschel Walker, Democrats have defeated every GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidate endorsed by Donald Trump this year in the five states that flipped from supporting him in 2016 to backing Joe Biden in 2020: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona.
Coming even amid widespread discontent over the economy, this year’s Democratic sweep against the Trump-backed candidates underscores the continuing resistance to the former president’s influence. In particular, Warnock’s decisive margins in Atlanta and its suburbs yesterday extended the Democratic dominance of white-collar (and usually racially diverse) metropolitan areas, as varied as the suburbs of Detroit and Philadelphia and the booming hot spots of Phoenix and Madison.
“The huge question after the election of 2020 was whether the suburbs would snap back to the GOP column after Trump was no longer on the ballot,” Ben Wikler, the Democratic Party chair in Wisconsin, told me. “What we saw in 2022 was suburbs continuing to trend toward Democrats.”
Apart from perhaps Michigan, none of these states appears entirely out of reach for the GOP in 2024. Whit Ayres, a longtime GOP pollster, told me that although suburban voters recoiled against “delusional candidates” who “parroted” Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, Republicans “could very well come back and win the suburbs” with “non-delusional candidates.” [Continue reading…]