Politics professor discusses impact of Georgia’s Senate runoff election

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:20 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - We are about a week away from the start of early voting for Georgia’s runoff election.

Georgia is no stranger to elections with high stakes but now, a lot of that pressure has been removed off of the race between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker after Democratic victories in the senate races in Nevada and Arizona allowing democrats to retain control of the chamber.

But, an important endorsement for Herschel Walker could also be at play when it comes to voter turnout this December.

Former President Donald Trump, reiterating his support for Walker, during his own 2024 presidential campaign announcement. Dr. Joshua Kennedy, a politics professor at Georgia Southern says this endorsement, may not go the way Walker hopes.

“I do think that there’s a potential effect from Trump’s announcement. That raises the stakes somewhat, but I think it raises the stakes more for people who are opposed to him. I do think it could affect turnout somewhat, but I think it would be likelier to impact turnout on the democratic side rather than the republican side.”

Now that the senate majority has been decided, Dr. Kennedy also says some voters could lose their motivation to get to the polls.

“I just think the fact that the Senate is no longer on the line, means that those who are less invested, those who can tip a race one way or another, those who could really go either way, they don’t have as much of an incentive to turnout anymore. I think that turnout overall for the runoff election will be lower than what we saw in the general election.”

Dr. Kennedy says he sees runoff elections becoming a more popular trend in Georgia, and that there’s potential for them to become increasingly more common in future elections – particularly in races for federal offices.

While Georgia will no longer decide the senate majority, it will decide how big the Democrat’s majority will be.

The runoff election is Dec. 6.