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Herschel Walker’s loss is Donald Trump’s final 2022 gift to the GOP.

‘Jim Crow 2.0’ Dies Again in Georgia

Herschel Walker’s loss is Donald Trump’s final 2022 gift to the GOP.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Updated Dec. 7, 2022 1:15 pm ET



WSJ Opinion: The Midterms Highlight the GOP's Trump Liability for 2024


WSJ Opinion: The Midterms Highlight the GOP's Trump Liability for 2024

Wonder Land: If Donald Trump announces he’s running for president again, the 2024 election is over. Images: AFP/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

Whatever happened to “Jim Crow 2.0”? That was President Biden’s slander against Georgia’s new voting law, yet Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock won a solid runoff victory Tuesday and a six-year term, with turnout that was hardly muted. Don’t expect any apologies. Mr. Warnock is saying his win only proves Georgians can beat voter suppression, so it’s an unfalsifiable claim.


Herschel Walker lost by nearly three points, as of the latest data, after trailing on Nov. 8 by only one point. “There’s no excuses in life,” Mr. Walker manfully conceded. “And I’m not going to make any excuses now, because we put up one heck of a fight.” Good for him, especially since Donald Trump will probably have enough bad excuses to go around.


Mr. Trump helped to clear the GOP primary field for Mr. Walker. “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia?” Mr. Trump said in March 2021. “He would be unstoppable.” Mr. Walker had no serious primary opposition, but he was unvetted and inexperienced, and Democrats dug up and unloaded truckloads of unflattering personal history.


Mr. Trump is now 0-3 in Georgia Senate races, counting the two 2021 runoffs that he sabotaged, plus Mr. Walker’s loss. The former President went ballistic this summer after Mitch McConnell said candidate quality matters, but the GOP Senate leader was obviously right and vindicated on Election Day.


A 51-49 Senate will make life far easier for Democrats over the next two years. No single Democrat will be able to block a Biden nominee, and Democrats will now have a majority on every committee. Republicans will have one more seat to overcome as they try to retake the Senate.


Some Republicans are blaming GOP failures in mail and early voting, and as long as that’s the law the GOP will have to play by those rules. Early and mail voters in the Georgia runoff were 52% registered Democrats, to 39% Republicans, per a TargetSmart model cited by NBC News. That’s a huge deficit to make up on Election Day, especially if it rains.


But mail-voting weaknesses didn’t stop Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp from winning re-election on Nov. 8 by 7.5 percentage points. And organizing failures shouldn’t obscure that the biggest lesson of the 2022 midterms is that Mr. Trump picks losers. Republicans clearly could have regained the Senate this year, but Mr. Trump’s endorsed candidates lost in almost every swing state. J.D. Vance won Ohio, but only with the help of $32 million in media advertising from a Super Pac tied to Mr. McConnell.


The evidence is overwhelming over the last three election cycles that Mr. Trump and the crazy parts of Trumpism alienate suburban voters and divide the GOP. Denying that is denying reality and will guarantee more needless Republican losses in 2024.

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