With all the votes counted, it turns out the Warnock-Walker runoff wasn’t that close after all

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Raphael Warnock was ahead of Herschel Walker by just 0.6 points last night when the race was called. This put a narrative in motion that it was a surprisingly close race, along with the usual defeatist lamenting from those on our side who were too lazy to put in any work on this race to begin with.

But as of today, with greater than 99% of votes counted, Warnock is now ahead of Walker by about three points. So the race wasn’t particularly close after all. So much for all that defeatist lamenting. This was a good solid win for the Democrats.

When a race gets called, it’s often because a candidate is slightly ahead at the time and the remaining uncounted votes are known to lean toward that candidate. But all we remember is the narrow margin from the moment race was called, and not the final (typically much larger) margin.

For instance, most of you aren’t aware that John Fetterman defeated Dr. Oz by five points once all the votes were counted. All you remember is that Fetterman was one point ahead at the moment the race was called. For that matter, most of you aren’t aware John Kelly won by five points. In swing state races, five points is a blowout.

“I can’t believe it was ever that close!” Well it wasn’t. Votes are counted in an arbitrary, asymmetric order. Just because Warnock was only “ahead” by 0.6 points in the vote totals at one point, it doesn’t mean Walker was ever within 0.6 points of winning. Walker lost by three points once all the votes were counted, which means Walker was behind by three points the entire time, regardless of what weird order the votes were tallied in.

If Warnock-leaning batches of votes had been counted before Walker-leaning batches, then Warnock might have been “ahead by 6 points” when the race was called for him. But he wouldn’t have actually been that far ahead. It’s just a partial vote total at the time it’s called.

Yet because of the lopsided manner in which the votes were counted, and the explosively defeatist reaction over Warnock’s 0.6 point “lead” at the time the race was called, this race will be misremembered as an embarrassingly close 0.6 point win, when it was in fact a 3 point win.

I warned you all along that in spite of Warnock’s many advantages, it wasn’t possible for him to win this runoff by any more than about four points. Come on, it’s Georgia! Most people vote down party lines no matter what. In a race like this, both candidates were going to get 48% of the vote automatically. The winner was going to be decided by the remaining 4%.

   

Now we know that Warnock won by three. So we were on the higher end of that four point range. Which means that those of you who put in the work, made a difference. Let’s keep that in mind for next time. The lamenters, the gripers, and the defeatists on your own side are not your friends. Winning elections requires tuning these losers out and putting in the kind of work that delivers wins.

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