Since Donald Trump left the White House, some folks have forgotten what Georgia is, politically speaking. Maybe it’s easy to conflate Atlanta—what Wakanda would look like if Vibranium deposits were found underneath an American city—with the rest of the state, which largely looks like Marjorie Taylor Green’s version of utopia. Maybe it’s the fact that the state’s most famous politicians of late are a U.S. Senator and gubernatorial nominee who have, in a matter of two election cycles, normalized the idea of statewide Black political representation in the South.
And maybe that’s what makes the most recent polls coming out of Georgia so disturbing. With just two weeks left before the final votes are cast, Rev. Raphael Warnock is in a dead heat for his U.S. Senate seat with Republican Herschel Walker, who’s better suited to win a contest for most unqualified candidate for elected office in history than one for U.S. Senate. Democrat Stacey Abrams is still polling several points behind Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. It’s totally possible that without maximum voter turnout from their bases, either candidate, or both, could lose.
In the before, that would’ve been an inevitability, and not one that was all that consequential. After all, Georgia was the state that gave us Newt Gingrich (look him up, kids) and exactly zero Black representation at the statewide level. Today, the game has changed. Warnock’s opponent wants to see abortion—a thing he’s allegedly reimbursed a woman for doing—outlawed nationally, and could hand the the GOP the control in Congress it needs to do so. Abrams’ opponent signed a restrictive new voting law that mirrors regressive restrictions put in place by Republicans in other states around the country.
Stakes is high.
Georgia voters have exactly 15 days left to remember that the decisions made in the last election weren’t permanent. U.S. Senator Herschel Walker is a very real possibility, and if that happens, the next rest of us have a rough six years coming.