Just how historically anomalous was Herschel Walker‘s 2-point loss to incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in the runoff on Tuesday? Consider these facts in light of the reality that President Joe Biden expanded Democratic control of the upper congressional chamber to a 51-49 majority.
Since World War II, the president’s party has gained Senate seats in only four of those 19 midterm elections.
For the first time since the 17th Amendment, which transferred the voting power of senators directly to the people, all incumbent senators in the president’s party running for reelection won.
And they did so while inflation is still near 40-year highs, murders have spiked some 40% since before the pandemic, and markets have stagnated, on tenterhooks in anticipation of another recession.
How about another contemporary figure? Every single Republican running for statewide office in Georgia won.
Except for Herschel Walker.
According to Walker’s son Christian, it was former President Donald Trump who begged the former football star to get into the primary race, but in the end, it was only Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and now-two-term Gov. Brian Kemp. While the former president sat on some $92 million he raised during the midterm elections (for what exactly?), McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund dumped $18 million into a Hail Mary for Walker’s Senate dreams, and Kemp kept his unbelievable ground game in action, despite winning his reelection by more than 7 points. Trump was nowhere to be found in Georgia, not that it mattered. The issue was not the ground game or even the campaign, really. It was the candidate.
What qualifications did Walker have to begin with? He says nice things about Trump, he played pretty incredible football in the previous century, and he ran a poultry business that netted $1.5 million per year from 2008 to 2017.
What risks did running Walker have? Well, as his scatterbrained and frankly ineloquent stump speeches demonstrated, a lifetime of brain injury from football is an inherent risk when qualifying for the world’s greatest deliberative body. Walker had already publicly atoned for abusing his first wife, Christian’s mother, and blamed it on his dissociative identity disorder.
But his mental health diagnosis came in 2001. Throughout the campaign, there came bombshell after bombshell of many mistresses accusing him of abuse and demanding they get abortions well after his diagnosis and public atonement. And just as the man who supported criminalizing abortion, including in cases of rape and incest, reportedly paid for abortions, the man who wouldn’t shut up about family values was exposed to have multiple children he abandoned with multiple different mothers.
Christian, a vociferous conservative on social media, has some advice.
“Don’t beat women, hold guns to peoples heads, fund abortions then pretend your prolife, stalk cheerleaders, leave your multiple minor children alone to chase more fame, lie, lie, lie, say stupid crap, and make a fool of your family. And then maybe you can win a senate seat. [sic]”
That is wise advice in case Republicans ever want to gain Senate control back.