Happy Wednesday, OnPolitics readers!
In the final 2022 midterms battle, Georgia voters gave Democrats in the U.S. Senate extra breathing room by reelecting incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock on Tuesday, expanding the party’s slim majority.
Warnock’s victory over Republican Herschel Walker, a football star recruited by former President Donald Trump to help the GOP retake the Senate, spells out two lessons — one old and one new, USA TODAY’s David Jackson and Mabinty Quarshie report.
The old lesson: Good candidates generally beat bad candidates.
The new one: Trump-backed candidates tend to have trouble in battleground states.
“Trump is the big loser,” pollster Frank Luntz said in the wake of the Republicans’ latest loss in a major political race. “One by one, his handpicked candidates for Senate flopped. I can’t remember a time when the environment for Republicans was so good and yet the results were so bad.”
Real quick: Stories you’ll want to read
Georgia on our minds: One of the most expensive and bitter Senate contests ended with Warnock, a Democrat, prevailing over Walker, the Republican challenger. Here are five takeaways from the Georgia Senate runoff election.
Fighting antisemitism: Second gentleman Doug Emhoff denounced an “epidemic of hate” Wednesday in a White House forum on antisemitism, which the Anti-Defamation League says has reached crisis levels.
Potential ‘big consequences’ for elections: The Supreme Court wrestled Wednesday with a novel legal theory that critics warn could upend federal elections, while proponents insist it’s needed to limit the power of state courts to overrule voting laws approved by state lawmakers.
DOJ report on mobster’s demise: Like most of his prior victims, mobster James “Whitey” Bulger never had a chance, according to details released Wednesday by the Justice Department’s inspector general regarding the botched handling of Bulger’s 2018 transfer from Florida federal prison to West Virginia.
🦠 COVID-19 vaccine mandate no more? The COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the U.S. military would be rescinded under the annual defense bill heading for a vote this week in Congress. The directive helped ensure the vast majority of troops were vaccinated but also raised concerns that it harmed recruitment and retention. Here’s what you need to know.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: OnPolitics: Walker, with Trump’s influence, lost Georgia for the GOP