Donald Trump Supports Raphael Warnock in The Georgia Senate Run-off

Joseph Godwin

One of the reasons Republicans performed poorly in this year's midterm elections was Donald Trump's persistent presence on the American political landscape.

In Georgia, where Trump's Republican foe Gov. Brian Kemp easily won reelection and his favored Senate candidate, Herschel Walker, was forced into a runoff with Democratic Sen.

Raphael Warnock, the former president's crippling effect on his party was arguably most apparent. These issues are more apparent than ever now that the Georgia Senate runoff is only two days away.

In addition to contributing to a more significant restructuring of political alliances in America, Trump's unpopularity in Georgia is keeping him away from the state during the last weeks of the campaign.

Take a look at the CNN/SSRS survey of the Senate runoff, which was released on Friday, to see the effect Trump is having in Georgia. Among probable voters, Trump had a 39% favorable rating and a 54% unfavorable rating at the time of the poll.

Of course, you may assume that these figures wouldn't matter now that Trump isn't in the office. In Georgia, according to the CNN poll, President Joe Biden has a positive approval rating of 41% and a negative approval rating of 52%.

However, if you look at the poll in more detail, you can see how Trump's disapproval may be deterring voters from voting for Walker.

Among voters who didn't think highly of Biden but did think highly of Trump, the former football player outperformed Warnock by 87 points.

If it held among all voters who view Biden unfavorably, that kind of margin would have been more than enough for Walker to win. Walker's problem stems from the fact that only 37% of the electorate in our poll had a favorable opinion of Trump but not of Biden.

The majority of probable Georgia voters (21%) did not have a positive opinion of either Biden or Trump. Walker was still preferred over Warnock by this group of voters, but only by 14 points.

In other words, depending on whether voters liked Trump or not, Walker's advantage among those who didn't like Biden varied by over 70 points.

The poll shows Warnock winning by 100 points among the 40% of probable voters who merely liked Biden, which helps him mathematically keep Walker's advantage down among those who didn't like either Biden or Trump.

Consider the last time there was an unpopular Republican president who had just left the White House to see how uncommon it is for a former president to have such a significant impact.

In a CNN pre-election survey conducted in September 2010, Republican candidates for the House were still outperforming Barack Obama, the incumbent, and George W. Bush by approximately 50 points.

Walker would be in the lead in our Georgia survey if he were winning by 50 points among those who disapproved of Biden or Trump.

However, Trump's impact on Georgia voters goes beyond his popularity or unpopularity. Look into the alliances that Walker and Warnock are counting on to succeed.

Walker is ahead among White voters, as expected, while Warnock is ahead among Black voters. In the most politically polarized states, this is what you would anticipate.

The degree of the educational gap among White voters in Georgia, however, would have shocked a political observer eight years ago.

White voters without a college degree put Walker in the lead 83% to 17%. Among White voters with a college degree, his advantage decreased from 51% to 47%.

Comparing those results to Georgia's 2014 Senate exit poll. 80% of White voters without a college degree and 70% of White voters with a degree went for the Republican David Perdue.

The fact that there are now many more White Democrats with college degrees is undoubtedly the main reason why Democrats are now in a position to win elections in Georgia.

A significant portion of that can be attributed to the manner Trump formed his alliances which is depending on White voters without college degrees at the expense of White voters with college degrees.

But in Georgia, unlike most states, Republicans were unable to make up a significant amount of ground with non-college-educated White voters.

They already leaned heavily Republican. But there remained a lot of ground the GOP might lose among voters who were White and had a college degree.

In the last stretch of the campaign, Warnock gains a little advantage when he joins the deeply Democratic Black vote who made up over 30% of the likely electorate in the CNN poll with support from these White college-educated voters.

Many factors, including Walker's popularity issues, might lead to Warnock winning the runoff. However, I believe there is merit in the claim that Trump's decision to run for president seven and a half years ago was likely when Warnock's strong chances of winning began.


Harry Enten, CNN News, (2022 December 4th). "How Donald Trump is helping Raphael Warnock in Georgia":

Donald Trump’s continued presence on the American political scene is one of the reasons Republicans underperformed in this year’s midterm elections.

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