MACON, Georgia — Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) rallied supporters to ignore political pundits predicting a red wave was poised to sweep Democrats from power in Congress, expressing confidence he would defeat Republican challenger Herschel Walker in Tuesday’s midterm elections.
“Now we’re down to one day. I’ve got a feeling that everything is going to be all right,” Warnock told a crowd of about 50 supporters who packed the back patio of a bar and grill in downtown Macon on Monday afternoon. “The four most powerful words in a democracy are ‘the people have spoken.’ And so I want you to know that I have every faith, I really do, in the people of Georgia.”
“I know the people of Georgia are going to get this right,” the senator added. Warnock was joined in Macon by local party officials and Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA), elected with his fellow Democrat when both won a pair of Jan. 5, 2021, runoff elections. The message was the same from all of them: Keep making phone calls and getting out the vote until the polls close Tuesday evening.
“When Georgia votes, Georgia is blue,” state Rep. Miriam Paris said. If Warnock hopes to overcome late Republican momentum and President Joe Biden’s low job approval ratings, he is going to need a strong showing in Macon County. Voters here delivered Biden 61.3% of the vote in 2020, with former President Donald Trump garnering 38.2%. From Macon, Warnock headed north to Columbus for an early evening rally.
The Senate majority could hinge on the outcome in Georgia, a key swing state where two heavyweight black politicians — Warnock, a dynamic Christian pastor, and Walker, a charismatic former professional football player — are pitted against each other. The campaign is a story of sharp contrasts — and not just regarding the candidates’ approach to issues such as inflation, crime, and border security or their differing opinions of Biden and Trump, who recruited Walker into the Senate race.
Walker has been holding one campaign event per day down the home stretch. Monday evening, election eve, the Republican was scheduled to rally supporters in Kennesaw, just north of Atlanta, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) set to join him as a special guest. Warnock has been crisscrossing Georgia holding multiple events daily, rallying clutches of Democratic volunteers in party field offices and big crowds of voters in church parking lots.
In the closing hours of this race, the war of words between Warnock and Walker has escalated, with the senator saying the Republican should stick to football and the challenger comparing the incumbent to “Satan.” It was more of the same Monday as Warnock told reporters after stumping in Macon there was more at stake in the midterm elections than policy and political differences.
“Not only does competence matter, character matters,” he said. “If you can’t tell us the truth about the basic facts of your life, why would we trust that you’re going to tell us the truth about the issues facing us, what we have to do to overcome them?”
“My opponent hasn’t offered one solution,” Warnock continued. “He’s been campaigning an entire cycle at a time when we are faced with big challenges, and he hasn’t promised so far to do anything.”