I’d love to say that it’s all over but the crying, but politics doesn’t work that way anymore. They’re telling us that we may not know the results for days or even weeks yet to come.
However, in Georgia, we’ve got a pretty good glimpse of how things shook out.
Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams–once considered for the vice presidency–has lost and lost handily to Gov. Brian Kemp. He’s since conceded the race, which is impressive considering she didn’t four years ago.
Meanwhile, Sen Raphael Warnock is in a very tight race with University of Georgia football legend Hershel Walker. That race hasn’t been called yet, but as of this writing, a runoff looks likely.
Both of these candidates are Democrats running for statewide races, but their fortunes appear to be somewhat different. Part of the reason for that? The Second Amendment.
Warnock is no friend of gun owners. Don’t think for an instant he is.
However, I’d argue he’s smarter than Abrams. You see, if you take a look at his campaign site, there’s no mention of gun control. Not a single peep. We can know it’s in his heart, but it’s not on his website and it wasn’t an issue during the campaign.
Abrams went in a different direction.
Her site includes a specific set of “gun safety” policy proposals which included things like repealing constitutional carry, repealing campus carry, and enacting universal background checks and red flag laws. Further, she made it clear the only reason she’s not pushing for more is that it’s “not tenable” at this point.
So while Warnock is in a tight battle with a virtual football deity in Georgia, Abrams crashed and lost by seven and a half points.
And the kicker is that if you compare their issues pages, a lot of the same things pop up in varying ways. Yes, one is running for state office and one for the Senate, so the details aren’t just going to be different but have to be, yet there are also profound similarities.
So why else is it that Kemp so handily handed Abrams her posterior while Walker may not even win?
In fairness, there are a few other key differences. Warnock has gone after Walker’s character via brutal attack ads, claiming domestic violence and many other sins which likely cost Walker at least a couple of percentage points, but does that account for all of it?
I don’t think so.
We know from polling that voters throughout the nation didn’t list gun control as one of their top issues. That seems to have been true throughout the Peach State as well.
So kind of like the knight at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade said, she chose poorly.
But this isn’t a huge win for gun rights. Sure, they’re safe at the state level for at least four more years, but with the Senate still very much up for grabs and the House results not looking at great as many expected at the federal level, there are still threats to our right to keep and bear arms.
Now, by the time you read this, that landscape could have changed completely. Republicans could have 230 seats in the House and 51 in the Senate. An 11th-hour surge in the last one percent of votes could lift Walker over Warnock here in Georgia. All of it could change.
As of right now, though, that’s not the case. Not yet.
Right now, there are still enough seats up for grabs that both the House and the Senate could go either way. If they land on the Democrats’ side, especially with enough votes to kill the filibuster in the Senate, then our gun rights are in trouble.
At least until the Supreme Court gets hold of any new measures passed.
Still, here in Georgia, the message is clear: Don’t mess with our gun rights.