Georgia Runoff to Settle Last Senate Seat: On Tuesday, voters in Georgia will cast their ballots in the country’s final Senate race, a struggle between Republican football star Herschel Walker and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. The four-week runoff blitz has attracted a torrent of outside spending to an increasingly personal conflict.
Compared to the two runoffs in 2021, when victories by Warnock and fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff handed Democrats control of the Senate, the stakes in this year’s election are smaller. Depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s election, Democrats will either have a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate or a 50-50 majority with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote.
Warnock, the state’s first Black senator and senior minister at the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, and Walker, a former University of Georgia football star and political novice who has waged his bid in the mould of former President Donald Trump, will face each other in a runoff on Tuesday.
Georgia Runoff to Settle Last Senate Seat
If Warnock were to win, Georgia’s role as a presidential election battlefield in 2024 would be cemented. However, given that Republicans in Georgia won every other statewide contest last month, a win for Walker could indicate that the Democratic advances in the state might be fairly limited.
Out of over 4 million votes cast, Warnock led Walker by around 37,000 votes, but neither candidate received a majority. It’s estimated that about two million ballots have been cast by mail or during early voting, giving Democrats a boost from this method because their supporters are more likely to use it. In the close elections decided by a few votes, Republicans have a stronger track record of getting out the vote on Election Day.
After a campaign plagued by intensive scrutiny of his history, rambling campaign speeches, and a slew of damning charges, including claims that he paid for the abortions of two ex-girlfriends (which Walker denies), Walker, 60, ran more than 200,000 votes behind Republican Gov. Brian Kemp last month.
Hey folks! Do you have time to make calls to Georgia voters today? We could sure use your help! https://t.co/CHY0DYhERB
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) December 5, 2022
Warnock, who won a special election in 2021 to finish out Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson‘s term, sounded upbeat on the first day of a busy campaign week. Independents and moderate Republicans who backed Kemp, he said, would agree that he deserves a full time in office.
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The senator, who is 53 years old, stated, “They’ve seen that I will work with anybody who assists me to do a good job for the people of Georgia.” I have faith that they will succeed. They understand that the election hinges on their skills and integrity.
On Monday, Walker and his wife, Julie, campaigned together, greeting supporters and expressing gratitude rather than delivering one of his customary campaign speeches or making any overt assaults on Warnock.
There’s still time to help expand Democrats’ majority in the Senate.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) December 5, 2022
At an Ellijay winery, he told his supporters, “I love y’all, and we’re going to win this election,” likening their support to the athletic titles he had won. One of my favourite things is to win championships.
According to the most recent federal reports, Warnock has spent almost $170 million on the campaign, while Walker has spent nearly $60 million. However, political action groups and party committees of both the Democrats and the Republicans have spent considerably more.
The senator’s position as senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church has given him confidence in his efforts to promote bipartisanship while also emphasising his own personal convictions.
AAPIs can make the difference in Georgia and in states across the country. And I saw firsthand how the Warnock team has made language access and outreach to AAPI communities a priority.
Every Democratic campaign should take note. https://t.co/WOHpBiOMHV
— Grace Meng (@Grace4NY) December 5, 2022
And starting in the last stretch before the general election on November 8th, Warnock added stinging takedowns of Walker, exploiting the football star’s troubled past to suggest that the political newbie was “not ready” and “not suited” for high office.
Walker, who rode his athletic prowess to the GOP candidacy, has tried to paint Warnock as President Joe Biden‘s lapdog. As a scathing charge for a Black challenger to raise against a Black senator regarding his relationship with a white president.
Walker has occasionally made the assault in extremely personal terms, including accusing Warnock of having his “back bent” and “being on his knees, begging” at the White House.
Tomorrow is Runoff Election Day.
If you did not vote early, guess what? You still have time.
Visit https://t.co/BzyQIJ3Mvp to find your polling location and hours.
Go vote! pic.twitter.com/GbxmVXk651
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) December 5, 2022
Walker, a multimillionaire businessman, has lied about his charitable giving and financial success. For example, he once said his company employed hundreds of people and made tens of millions of dollars in sales annually when in reality, he only had eight employees and his annual sales averaged around $1.5 million.
He claims to have attended and graduated from college and even served as a police officer, although he has done neither of these things. During the campaign, Walker was also confronted with the fact that, contrary to his years-long criticism of absentee fathers and calls for Black men, in particular, to play an active role in their children’s lives, he himself the father of three children outside of his marriage.
Walker’s ex-wife has highlighted his violent behaviour, stating he once threatened to kill her by holding a gun to her head. Walker has never refuted any of those details, and he even wrote about his violent inclinations in a memoir published in 2008, attributing them to mental illness.
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