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Split of pairs: Doubts about candidates led to more split-ticket votes in midterms, scale flipped in close race

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ATLANTA — Sun Lee, who voted in one of the most politically competitive states in the United States this month, happily endorsed the re-election of Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp. But when it came to the other head of the Republican Party, Senate candidate Herschel Walker, he was uneasy.

Walker “doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” said Lee, a software tester living in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur who ultimately endorsed Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock.

Mr. Lee was just one of hundreds of thousands of voters across the United States who split tickets in the pivotal race for the governor’s mansion and congressional seat this year.

With voters splitting their votes or deciding to endorse the party outright, Democrats may have been able to perform better than expected in the midterm elections.

The AP VoteCast is this year’s largest survey of voters, highlighting how voters made their choices despite today’s extremely polarized political climate.

Georgia Republican Senator Herschel Walker speaks during the October campaign in Carrollton, Georgia.

Georgia Republican Senator Herschel Walker speaks during the October campaign in Carrollton, Georgia.

In Georgia, Kemp received over 200,000 more votes than Walker. Walker faced difficulties throughout the campaign, including exaggerations about his business record, accusations of violence against his first wife, and allegations from his two ex-girlfriends. he aborted. His overwhelming votes forced a runoff vote with Warnock.

According to VoteCast, seven out of 10 Georgia voters said they enthusiastically supported Kemp, but only about half of fellow Republican Walker voters said so. Of Walker’s supporters, four in ten said they supported him with reservations, while one in ten said they simply opposed other candidates.

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Republican Gov. Brian Kemp holds a press conference in Atlanta on Nov. 7.

The dynamics were even clearer elsewhere.

In Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro won the gubernatorial race by a wide margin over Democrat John Fetterman in the Senate election, winning nearly 280,000 more votes. Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May, battled concerns about his health in a fierce rivalry with prominent Republican surgeon Mehmet Oz.

VoteCast showed that 8% of Pennsylvania voters split their tickets. Of voters who identify as Republicans, a notable 9% voted for Democrat Fetterman, and an even greater number (18%) voted for Shapiro.

G. Terry Madonna, Senior Fellow for Political Affairs at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, said it’s not so obvious in recent cycles “because voters have become more polarized and more partisan.” , the split of votes in this election was particularly notable.

VoteCast shows that voters for Republican gubernatorial candidates Oz and Doug Mastriano were less enthusiastic than voters for Fetterman and Shapiro.

Shapiro’s voters enthusiastically outpaced those of fellow Democrat Fetterman. Still, even though many voters aren’t confident in his Fetterman’s health, the VoteCast shows that Pennsylvania voters were somewhat concerned that Oz was familiar with the state. increase.

Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman (left) and Republican rival Mehmet Oz

Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman (left) and Republican rival Mehmet Oz (right).

About four in 10 Republican Mastriano voters said they supported him with reservations, and about one in 10 supported him against other candidates.

Overall, about two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters worried that Mastriano’s view of arranging buses for people attending a rally ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was “too extreme.” was doing. He was only about 4 out of 10 who mentioned Shapiro.

Mastriano said, [former President Donald] Trump’s most loyal supporter. That’s why he was nominated, but he couldn’t expand that base,” said Madonna of Millersville University.

“Establishment Republicans have also moved away from him,” Madonna said, noting that many establishment Republicans are happy to do so, given Shapiro’s position on more moderate issues, including fracking. suggested.

In Wisconsin and Michigan, incumbent Democratic governors defeated Trump-backed Republican challengers, reiterating Trump’s denial of 2020 results.

Only 63% of voters of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said they would enthusiastically support their candidate, while only 47% of supporters of Republican Tim Michels said they were enthusiastic. Many of Michelle’s voters said they supported him with reservations. In contrast, in the U.S. Senate race, 54% of voters for the victorious Republican incumbent, Ron Johnson, were enthusiastic about him.

Charles Franklin, director of polling at Marquette Law School in Wisconsin, was the weaker candidate for Michels. In the Senate election, Johnson won Democrat Mandela Burns, but by a narrower margin than he did in 2016 or his 2010 victory.

Senator Ron Johnson (left) and Republican candidate for Governor Tim Michels (second from left) conclude their campaign at County Republican Headquarters in Waukeshire, Wisconsin, on Nov. 5.

Senator Ron Johnson (left) and Republican candidate for Governor Tim Michels (second from left) conclude their campaign at County Republican Headquarters in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Nov. 5.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“Here’s a strong case of Democratic dominance in voter turnout boosting the gubernatorial race by just over two points from four years ago, and in the process tightening the Senate race to just a one-point margin over Johnson. I think there is,” said Franklin.

In Michigan, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer was backed more enthusiastically than his Republican rival Tudor Dixon. More than Whitmer, Dixon’s political views were “too extreme” for him, 62% to 46%. About 1 in 10 Republican voters supported the Democrats.

Arizona stands out when it comes to enthusiasm. Democrat Katie Hobbs defeated Republican Kari Lake in the gubernatorial race, but Lake’s voters were more enthusiastic about the former TV news anchor.

46% of Hobbes’ supporters said they were enthusiastic about her, compared to 56% of Lake’s supporters. Her 41% of Hobbes voters supported her with her reservations, while 12% voted against her other candidates.

Lake, who repeatedly suggested to “McCain Republicans” that they were unfamiliar with their own coalition, may have alienated more moderate members of the party.

Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake (left) and Democratic challenger Katie Hobbs.

Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake (left) and Democratic challenger Katie Hobbs.

Like other states, Arizona voters were more likely to worry that Lake’s political views were “too extreme,” compared to Hobbes’ 59% to 51%. His 11% of voters who identified as Republicans supported Democrat Hobbes, including 25% of Republicans who identified as moderate or liberal.

Reed Galen, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, a Republican group that opposes Trump, said, “I think it’s pretty clear that this strange coalition has evolved…we call it the Pro-Democracy Coalition. I am calling,” he said. “It’s a combination of Democrats, independents, and Republicans, and they move to Democratic candidates because they think they’re the most approachable people.”

“But we shouldn’t underestimate how close many of these races were,” he added. “That’s why we call these things games of the few.”

Finger Hat reported from Washington. His AP writer from Atlanta, Bill Burrow, contributed to this report.


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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