Warnock and Walker in last-ditch effort in high-stakes Georgia Senate runoff


superior Last day of overtime in GeorgiaDemocratic Sen. Raphael Warnock exuded confidence but warned supporters not to get complacent in his runoff against Republican candidate and former football superstar Herschel Walker.

“Herschel Walker still has a way to win this race,” Warnock said after wrapping up his campaign here on Monday. “If there’s anything I worry about, it’s that people will think we don’t need their voice. We do. We need your presence.”

Warnock was the leading vote-getter in last month’s general election, but the race ran until December as he failed to win a majority. After a four-week runoff campaign, Warnock and Democrats are optimistic he can outlast Walker and serve a full six-year term. Such a victory would help solidify Georgia as a purple state after Joe Biden narrowly won in 2020 and Warnock and Jon Ossoff won the January 2021 runoff election for the president. state status.

Still, Tuesday’s race is expected to be tight, with both parties and coalition groups pouring tens of millions of dollars into a contest that will shape the balance of power in the Senate for the next two years.

Democrats already control the House of Representatives, but a victory for Warnock — after the party picked up a seat in Pennsylvania — would give Majority Leader Chuck Schumer a vote and allow Democrats to lead the House since Biden took office. The committee has since split. With that in mind, Walker and a host of Republican senators are begging Republicans to send him to Washington to check on Biden and his policies.

“We’re looking at turnout, turnout, turnout,” Walker said as he toured northern Georgia at five scheduled rallies ahead of the election. “A vote for Warnock is a vote for these failed policies. A vote for me is a better choice.”

At a Warnock campaign rally in Atlanta last week, former President Barack Obama underscored the immediate impact of Democrats likely winning the 51st Senate seat. “It prevents one person from blocking everything,” he said, while also looking ahead to the next election and its implications.

“It also puts us in a better position a few years from now when you’re going to have another election and the Senate map will tilt toward the Republicans,” Obama said. “This will help prevent Republicans from gaining a no-fiber majority that would allow them to do things like pass a federal abortion ban.”

In the final act of the 2022 midterm elections, Georgian voters once again have the final say.

Georgia Republican leaders have been touting early in-person turnout for the past few weeks. That’s despite unsuccessful attempts by Republican officials to close the vote on the Saturday after Thanksgiving because of a contentious interpretation of the state’s voting laws. The Georgia Supreme Court ultimately upheld a lower court ruling allowing them to open.

The state broke another single-day record on Friday as more than 350,000 people turned out to vote at the polls ahead of Election Day.

But while these figures are impressive, they appear in early voting period Significantly reduced since 2021. Although the days of last week ended with record highs, the total number of voters ahead of this runoff is actually down compared with the 2021 general election, from about 3.1 million last year to about 1.87 million in 2022 . (About 2.5 million people voted before Election Day last month.)

While some Democrats are uncertain about turnout, especially given Tuesday’s severe weather forecast, Walker faces a tough challenge in terms of money and math.

In the last month alone, Democrats more than doubled Republican ad spending, according to a CNN analysis of AdImpact data. Since Nov. 9, Democrats have spent a staggering $55 million on TV ads, compared with $26 million for Republicans.

Walker is also struggling to overcome the 200,000-vote gap between his November total and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who handily beat Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. That complicates Walker’s path as he looks to win over Republicans or Republican-leaning voters who did not support him last month.

His Republican supporters, however, remain hopeful.

“I think there are a lot of people who regret that they didn’t get out and vote last time,” said retiree Elizabeth Walters, who was visiting Walker in Loganville over the weekend. “I think it’s probably close, but I think he’s going to win.”

Optimism is much lower in many Republican circles in Washington, disaffected and disappointed by Walker’s campaign former president donald trumpwho recruited him to run away.

Trump avoided Georgia, but held a call Monday night to rally his supporters.

“If Herschel wins this race, the Republicans can make life harder for Chuck Schumer, and we can put the brakes on every extreme left-wing judge and everything else that’s been going on for the past two years now, in our country, ’” Trump said in a speech that lasted less than 10 minutes.

“We’re stuck in this country,” said Republican voter John Hayes, who watched Walker’s campaign run over the weekend. “I think a lot of Republicans are going to come out and vote on Tuesday. That’s what we need.”

For much of the general election campaign, Kemp did everything he could to help Walker. With Trump effectively out, Kemp emerged as Walker’s top surrogate, appearing in two TV ads for his fellow Republican during the runoff.

A Walker victory would favor Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the upcoming Congress. And Trump, ignoring all the evidence that his involvement complicates the Republican path, will surely claim to be right.

But the most far-reaching effect of Walker’s win may be to boost Kemp’s national stature. After defeating a Trump-backed primary challenger last spring and being reelected by a wide margin last month, he is the rare high-profile Republican to publicly reject Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election and maintain, if not grow, his popularity with the GOP according to.

Warnock’s efforts to strengthen and broaden his support among so-called crossover voters further underscore the growing strength of the Kemp brand. On the eve of the run-off, Warnock launched an ad to entice voters to say they supported Kemp, and plans to do the same for Warnock on Tuesday.

But in the final stretch, Democrats have also been looking to galvanize younger voters, who have become an increasingly important part of the party’s coalition over the past two cycles.

At Georgia Tech on Monday, Warnock urged students who had not yet voted to leave on Tuesday — and asked them to encourage their friends and family to do the same.

“I want you to know your mission, and if you’ve voted, your mission is not done. Your mission is to make more friends,” Warnock said. “Call Lottie, Dottie and everyone. Tell them it’s time to vote.”

Warnock was introduced by Florida Rep.-elect Maxwell Frost, who will become the first Gen-Z member of Congress.

“We know young people are not the biggest voting bloc right now, but we are the most important bloc,” Frost said.

Source link

Leave a Comment