50-50. The Democrats will control the Senate.
What I got wrong is what the GOP got wrong — the level of GOP turnout.
This is important to understand what happened. The Democrats won because Republicans did not show up. Democrats turned out at rates near their general election turnout. Republicans did not.
The black vote crushed it. Black pastors and Stacey Abrams deserve some credit here. But the reality is the GOP did not perform. To the extent the election was stolen, the GOP stole it from itself. To the extent there was malfeasance, the President running ads on Atlanta radio this very week that the election was stolen is the malfeasance, not local boards of elections. To the extent there is misfeasance, the state GOP chair in Georgia attacking the Republican Secretary of State and lying about what happened in November is the misfeasance, not local boards of elections.
And, by the way, I would note that for those trying to rewrite history, Brian Kemp actually made a good pick with Kelly Loeffler, who would have won had the GOP not sabotaged itself.
The state’s Republican Party should resign en masse. They spent so much time re-litigating November and picking fights with their own Georgia Republicans that they did not do too much for December. Yes, the party failed. Look for David Shafer, the state party chair, to run for statewide office claiming to be a Trump defender. I just cannot see him credibly staying as party chair being the first Republican Party chair in the state since the early 2000s to see the party devastated.
The President ran ads over the past week telling Republicans that the Georgia election was stolen. He came in the night before the election and spent most of his time attacking the GOP. He too helped suppress the vote. His voters did not vote. Yes, the President deserves some blame here.
The Georgia congressional delegation also told everyone Georgia and its Republican Secretary of State were collaborating with Democrats to steal the vote. So Trump voters did not show up. They took the my way or the highway approach. The area of state that saw the GOP mostly like to stay home is the area of the state with the QAnon Congresswoman who has vocally complained the election was stolen and everything is rigged.
It really was amazing.
As polls closed and votes started pouring in, I started getting messages from Republicans across Georgia. “The numbers are not where the models are,” was a common refrain.
The GOP estimated a Republican turnout that did not show up. Again, and this is crucially important, the Republican voters did not show up while Democrats did. The area of North Georgia where Donald Trump went on Monday night turned out at a lower rate than the rest of the state. That area also has a QAnon Congresswoman now who very vocally has been claiming the Democrats were stealing the election.
Had the Republicans showed up at their expected levels, they could have at least held David Perdue’s seat. As an aside, I was wrong about black farmers in South Georgia. They voted Perdue over Ossoff in the general, but a lot of them voted straight Democrat this time.
Black pastors mobilized for Warnock over Loeffler, but again, had Republicans showed up both Perdue and Loeffler would have won.
Here’s the bottom line and there’s no reason to belabor this: The Republican Party is going to have to find a way for a Trump and non-Trump right-of-center coalition to survive. In Georgia, the soccer mom that hated Trump turned out in the suburbs. We know this because upper income white women in the suburbs voted Perdue and Loeffler. But in county after county, Perdue and Loeffler failed to match the turnout of having Trump on the ballot.
If Republicans cannot find a way to coexist as a party, they’ll cede ground to Democrats at the very moment the Democratic Party is on the verge of its own crack up because rich, secular whites and socially conservative minority voters don’t gel— see e.g. Latinx.
Republicans in Georgia are like the Atlanta Falcons. They throw away their leads and they did it spectacularly in Georgia last night.
It turns out when the President, the congressmen, and the Georgia GOP State Chairman all tell Republicans that their votes don’t matter because the Democrats are stealing everything, those voters won’t show up. They suppressed their own vote and handed the Democrats the House, the Senate, and the White House for the first time since 2009.
Well done, guys. Well done. 🙄 Or maybe somehow unbeknownst to us all, the Atlanta Falcons somehow took over the Georgia GOP.
By the way, I think Senator Loeffler can stop trying to be as Trumpy as she has had to be and can maybe not challenge the Georgia election today.