WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Barack Obama campaigned for Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) ahead of the Georgia Senate runoff against Herschel Walker.
- Obama’s Atlanta visit aims to further increase turnout for Democrats who might be weary of voting again.
- Democrats have already maintained their narrow Senate majority with 50 seats, but a Warnock victory could further solidify their agenda.
With the high-stakes Georgia Senate runoff between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) only a few days away, former President Barack Obama campaigned for the Democrat incumbent on Thursday night.
Warnock defeated Walker by roughly 36,000 votes in November’s midterms, but both failed to gain the necessary 50 percent of the votes. The Nov. 8 election also featured a Libertarian candidate but this runoff will be one-on-one.
Obama joined Warnock in listing the Democrats’ Senate accomplishments, such as last year’s bipartisan infrastructure legislation, a summer legislation boosting domestic semiconductor industry and scientific research, as well as a gun control package. They also pointed to the Senate confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve as Supreme Court Justice.
Democrats have already maintained their narrow majority in the Senate by securing 50 seats, but a Warnock victory could further solidify their agenda and future Senate majority.
Obama acknowledged questions about whether gaining another seat matters.
He explained, “An extra senator gives Democrats more breathing room on important bills. It prevents one person from holding up everything. And it also puts us in a better position a couple of years from now when you’ve got another election, but the Senate map is going to be tilted in the favor of Republicans.”
Obama also reiterated the issue of abortion, which pushed voters to turn up last month in an effort to prevent Republicans from imposing a nationwide ban.
After an underperforming midterm, Republicans are still looking for a victory to maintain a 50-50 Senate.
The runoff environment is completely different for Walker, who previously banked on gaining a majority for the Republicans. Still, some Democrats could potentially be tired of voting again given that their party already kept the majority.
Obama’s Atlanta visit aims to drum up enthusiasm among Democrats to further increase turnout.
Obama addressed the crowd, “I’m here to tell you that we can’t let up. We can’t be complacent.. And that means all of us doing our part.”
“If we want real progress, if we want lasting progress, we can’t be satisfied with one victory, because victories are always incomplete,” he added. “History doesn’t just move in a straight line. It moves sideways, sometimes it moves backwards when we’re not vigilant, when we’re not working. So we can’t allow ourselves to get tired.”
Source: The Hill