The Rev. Warnock Can Stop Campaigning Now

I’ve got to agree with Josh Marshall, that it’s a bad idea to watch television coverage on election nights.

If you’re into elections and want to watch results on election night you should never watch them on TV. Ever. If you were watching last night’s election on TV you probably had the sense the race was a close run thing with the lead bouncing back and forth, with Herschel Walker possibly mounting a comeback after weeks of coverage that made Raphael Warnock appear a favorite to win a full term. If you watched the results through my curated Twitter feed of election number crunchers, though, you saw something very different: from the very first returns it looked likely — and then with growing clarity — that the results would roughly bear out the polls, which showed Warnock with a modest but significant lead. The final results this morning show Warnock beating Walker by just shy of three percentage points, almost on the dot of what the consensus of polls predicted.

I decided I couldn’t deal with three hours of Steve Kornacki. I had the teevee tuned to to some crime drama thing, while I alternated between watching the good guys chase bad guys and checking the live feeds of commentary at the New York Times, Talking Points Memo, and other places. And by 8:30 Central Time the live feeds were saying “Warnock’s got this,” even though Walker was actually a bit ahead in the vote count at the time. A bit after 9 Central Time I happened to be looking at the vote totals on the WaPo page when it updated to show Warnock the projected winner. So then I knew it was safe to tune to MSNBC again. I don’t know if the people on CBS at that hour caught the bad guy, but I got to watch Rev. Warnock’s acceptance speech. Nice.

Still, it was damn close. Right now, with 99 percent of votes counted, it’s Warnock 51.4% and Walker 48.6%. Some commenters this morning are saying that a more “normal” Republican could have won, and I can’t argue. As atrocious a candidate as Walker was, he sure got a lot of votes.

Paul Campos writes at Lawyers, Guns & Money:

If we want to be pessimistic about things, we can focus on the fact that Herschel Walker — an almost indescribably terrible candidate by all conventional metrics regarding qualifications, such as being able to read, knowing the difference between the House and the Senate, not coercing the women he was beating up into abortions etc. — got almost exactly the same percentage of the vote in the runoff (48.6%) as the two other most recent Republican senate candidates (Kelly Loeffler, 49%; David Perdue, 49.4%).

More optimistically, this was 2022 not 2020, and the other Republican statewide candidates for governor, attorney general, and secretary of state all got between 52% and 53% of the vote, suggesting strongly that Walker’s absurd buffoonery of a campaign cost the Republicans about 4% of the vote, i.e., a deplorably small but ultimately decisive margin. Note that these other candidates were standard issue reactionary middle aged white guys, who kept the MAGA rhetoric mostly tamped down, didn’t seem to be severely brain damaged, and didn’t have a long line of women claiming that they had forced them to have abortions after beating them up and so forth.

In the runoff election on January 5, 2021, Warnock beat Kelly Loeffler 51% to 49%. I hadn’t remembered this, but Loeffler was planning to challenge the election result. Then January 6 happened, and she changed her mind and conceded.

Republicans are pointing out that the midterm elections in Georgia were very good for Republicans except for the Senate race. And this was because not-MAGA Republicans won the primaries, and then the GOP nominees went on to win the general. I get a sense that the GOP is mightily pissed at Trump for pushing Walker into the primary. But I’m not sure that Georgia has become quite as purple as some excited Democratic commenters believe. It does point to a path for Republicans to stop kowtowing to Trump, however.

Speaking of Trump — a couple of classified documents have just turned up in a a federally run storage site in West Palm Beach

Former President Donald J. Trump hired people to search four properties after being directed by a federal judge to look harder for any classified material still in his possession, and they found at least two documents with classified markings inside a sealed box in one of the locations, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Trump’s search team discovered the documents at a federally run storage site in West Palm Beach, Fla., the person said, prompting his lawyers to notify the Justice Department about them.

And here’s more background on the counties subpoenaed by Jack Smith.

13 thoughts on “The Rev. Warnock Can Stop Campaigning Now

  1. Food for thought:  Kornwacky took the place of Chunkie Toad as the 'political guru' for NBC.  Todd was a music major in college before he dropped out.  Kornacki was a film and television major in college.  Neither has the educational background in statistics to understand what is happening during a vote count.

    I was watching MSNBC coverage for a couple hours after the polls closed.  The hosts relied upon Kornacki to (mis)interpret what was happening.  They kept showing 'current totals' next to November totals and misinterpreting them.  The only sound statistical basis for extrapolating those votes was based upon what % Walker/Warnock were at the same point in counting in November and they never showed that.

    At close to 9 PM Eastern they were reporting counties with 50% vote in with that county vote well below half of the November vote total they showed for that county.  When half a county's vote has been counted, it is rational to estimate the final number of votes in that county would be twice the current vote.  What Kornacki was doing was making 'interpretations' as if the vote count totals would end up the same as in November. I called the 'race' at 9 PM (Eastern) for Warnock by 3-4% based upon extrapolating MSNBC's raw numbers and percentages showing that Walker was not going to make up the quantity of votes with the actual vote left to count – factoring in how improbable at the point that Walker would finish with the same percentages as Kemp did in November.  I was not that far off. It is all kind of wonkish but I do have dual undergrad degrees in economics and mathematics focused on probability and statistics;  which I hope someone behind the curtain at MSNBC does and know that Kornacki does not.

    Kornacki and MSNBC were as rational statistically as FiveThirtyEight's November reporting based on "averages of polls" when they knew that rePuke pollng firms were publishing bullshit polls to shift the "polling average" and then justifying it with "the Dems could have done the same thing".

    I think the 'horse race' and 'too soon to call' get played by the media to sell more advertising.  I really dislike Kornwacky;  his whiny voice and his mannerisms that remind me of a god-son who was a meth addict for 8 years.  I keep wondering if Kornacki has his original teeth or plastic ones.

  2. How long will it be before Orange Julius is saying "Herschel Walker? Never heard of him "?

  3. Doug,

    Yeah, Walker (TexASS Ranger) did give a concession speech.

    Of sorts.

    I don't think he actually said it in so many words, but it was clear he knew he'd lost (so, dumb as he is, he's clearly a bit quicker on the uptake than The Gizzard of Ooze – and much nicer).

    I'm with you folks on Kornacki.  I can take him in small spurts.

  4. It is remarkable/scary that Walker did so well, but this is the same state that inflicted Marjorie Taylor Greene on the nation.

    It's also the same state that denied Stacey Abrams the governorship, the person I felt most sorry for on the otherwise delighted-beyond-my-expectations Nov 8 mid-terms. Even with the muted red wave she couldn't win.  I cannot imagine someone as brilliant as her, she and her supporters putting in so much work, and not making it.

    Amusing for me to read the Kornacki hate here. I kind of like him, a walking encyclopedia of election trivia. If it's an election that I'm really engaged in, I can take a night of sitting with this virtual TV family as the returns come in, and getting Kornacki's analysis. For many elections, I'd just as soon read about it the next day in the news, a much more efficient uptake. 

    In the meantime, I'm so looking forward to 51-49, and not sweating so much about what Joe Manchin wants or the DINO sellout in Arizona. Load up those courts while we can.

  5. "As atrocious a candidate as Walker was, he sure got a lot of votes."

    Agreed, it's really unbelievable. I still can't get my head around voting for a guy that put a gun to his wife's head? I mean that's something that I just can't put behind. I understand maybe the guy had/has some mental issues but it takes a special kind of shitty person to pull a stunt like that, and considering all the other trouble (walking away from his kids, assaulting various women, paying for abortions while claiming to be "pro-life"). I just can't imagine a major party nominating a creep like that for US senate, much less voting for him, like I said unbelievable.

    •  I still can't get my head around voting for a guy that put a gun to his wife's head?

      For some, that would be a feature, not a bug.

  6. I watched movies all day yesterday; and, I am better off for having done that.  I got to see "Casablanca." Thanks to Turner Classic Movies.  Actually, watching movies is standard operating procedure for me on election day.  I think election coverage is the most boring thing to ever be on TV.  I was supposed to get a new (to me) kitty this last weekend; but, every thing did not work out.  Boo hoo


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