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Races in Georgia show voters are defying Trumpism

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're still joined by our senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro, as well as our national political correspondent Don Gonyea. And, gentlemen, what do we make of the results in Georgia, where Republicans got a lot of energy, a lot of focus out of the false claims that Donald Trump was robbed somehow in 2020? Republicans then were the ones who got to make the new rules. And even under the new rules, election deniers didn't do that well. What do you make of that?

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: For me, it says that candidates like Raffensperger and Kemp, who have long history with voters and who have been talking to voters for years and years and years, can still succeed in a - within a Republican Party in the state of Georgia, which is not to say that they are broadly representative of what the Republican Party looks like in that state. But I think their success is a statement.

INSKEEP: Domenico Montanaro, why don't you set up - set the stage for us here? We have a very close Senate race in Georgia. Herschel Walker was the Republican candidate. He seems short of 50%. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent, also seems short of 50%. Could be an interesting few weeks in Georgia if those results hold up.

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Yeah - Warnock very close to almost getting to that 50% threshold - 49.4% of the vote. He needed to get just above 50% to be able to avoid a runoff that would take place on December 6. I wanted to make a comment about, you know, having - you know, talking to Secretary of State Raffensperger. You know, Georgia has really stood out here in these past - in this past year or so after the January 6 riot at the Capitol, where, you know, you've had Republicans in Georgia be able, unlike other places, to defy Trump and be able to survive politically. And you've seen secretaries of state - people in secretary of state races do fairly well who are not election deniers.

INSKEEP: OK. That's Domenico Montanaro and Don Gonyea. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.
Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.