Dec 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

The surprise winner in the new Democratic primary calendar

Former President Barack Obama campaigns with Sen. Raphael Warnock in Atlanta on Thursday.

Former President Barack Obama campaigns with Sen. Raphael Warnock in Atlanta on Thursday. Photo: Brynn Anderson/AP

If Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) wins his runoff Tuesday, expect rising buzz he could be a promising Democratic presidential candidate in 2024, if President Biden doesn't run, or beyond.

The Warnock camp is downplaying talk of national aspirations.

  • But if he beats Herschel Walker, Warnock will take the Democrats' Senate majority from 50 seats (with Vice President Harris as the tie-breaker) to a solid 51.

Warnock, 53 — senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, once the pulpit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — is a charismatic speaker who has made inroads with white suburban voters.

  • Plus he could unite the Democratic coalition and reinvigorate Black voters, whose turnout sagged nationally in 2022.

The calendar — with its front-loading of Georgia and neighboring South Carolina — adds to Warnock's appeal.

Data: DNC
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