Walker, Warnock push for Georgia voters to mobilize on Election Day

by Jacob Fuller

Lauren C. Moye, FISM News


All eyes are on Georgia today as residents queue to cast their ballots in the Senate run-off election, which is considered a dead heat between incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock and GOP challenger Herschel Walker.

At stake for Republicans is a chance to reduce the Democrats’ already slight majority in the Senate. If Warnock wins, liberals will have a 51-seat majority in the Senate and no longer need Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote whenever all Democrats vote together. That will also be enough to prevent centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) from blocking parts of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better campaign.

Early voting in Georgia concluded on Friday with a total of 1.8 million ballots, which is expected to heavily favor Warnock, based on partisan history of early voting. With polls closing at 7 p.m., it’s Walker’s final day to persuade conservative Georgia voters to get out and cast their ballots for him.

The Walker campaign strategy has used a variety of messages in the last 24 hours for this purpose, including humorous attacks on Warnock, a late video message from Gov. Brian Kemp, and even the four-legged canine member of Walker’s family.

“Here in Georgia, we don’t like a R.I.N.O. – and Raphael Warnock is a Revered in Name Only,” the Team Herschel campaign account said on Twitter late yesterday afternoon.

“Do you want to send somebody back [to Senate] who has voted with Joe Biden 90% of the time? Or do you want to send somebody who’s gonna fight to end 40-year-high inflation, to lower gas prices, secure our southern border, and cut your taxes versus raising them?” Kemp said in a video posted to his own social media after polls opened.

Kemp’s support due to his popularity with Georgia voters is crucial to Walker at this stage in the election. While Walker trailed Warnock by 48.5% to 49.4% in November, Kemp easily won his re-election over Democrat Stacey Abrams by 53.4% to 45.9%.

Not only has Kemp backed Walker in the final days of the race but he also loaned his get-out-the-vote machine to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. This temporary transfer means that the Walker campaign got a boost from the door-knocking, data analytics, and micro-targeting program that has helped Kemp win against GOP gubernatorial rivals and Abrams.

Walker will need that. When all the absentee ballots arrive at the polling centers, the early vote total is supposed to rise to 1.9 million, according to a top aide who works for the Secretary of State. Meanwhile, these early Georgia votes included 76,000 individuals who didn’t cast a ballot in the first round of the election, said GeorgiaVotes.com, who analyzed public data to make the discovery.

NBC News reported that overall, Democrats are leading in these votes by a 13-point margin, 52% to the Republican’s 39%. In the General Election, there was only an 8-point margin in Warnock’s favor.

Warnock also has a strong financial edge over Walker, which has led to the incumbent spending more than double his challenger on TV ad spaces. Warnock has spent $52.5 million to Walker’s $25 million, AdImpact found.

This has left Walker embroiled in multiple controversies, including that he paid for a former girlfriend’s abortion. Walker has consistently denied knowledge that a check that he signed was for that purpose.

So far, there has been a total of $87.5 million spent on advertisements during the runoff election.

In all, an Impact analysis found that the Georgia Senate race “has seen over $376M in spending, substantially outpacing the country’s second-most expensive race, Pennsylvania Senate ($311M).”

The ramifications of the election could be wide-reaching if Warnock is able to secure the bid.

It would weaken the check that Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.V.) and Kirsten Sinema (Ariz.) have had on the progressives in their party, as both would have to vote in tandem on any issue that gains wide-spread Democratic support if the party holds a 51-49 advantage. It also could also provide political momentum for Warnock, who some have speculated may pursue a 2024 presidential run were Biden to not run for reelection.