‘Runoff? No, we’re winning this’: Walker predicts victory in Georgia Senate race

Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a campaign rally, in Hiram, Georgia, Sunday November 6, 2022. Walker is challenging Sen. Raphael Warnock for his Senate seat.
Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks as Nikki Haley looks on at a campaign rally, in Hiram, Georgia, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner

‘Runoff? No, we’re winning this’: Walker predicts victory in Georgia Senate race

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KENNESAW, Georgia Republican Herschel Walker swung hard at Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) as he rallied roughly 500 cheering supporters, concluding a hard-fought 2022 campaign the GOP hopes will deliver the party Senate control in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

“He’s not doing the right thing by you,” Walker said of Warnock, tying the Democratic incumbent directly to President Joe Biden. “He told you he was going to go to Washington and represent you, didn’t he? And he went to Washington and represented Joe Biden. He told you he was going to speak for you, didn’t he? And he raised your taxes and spent your money.”

“This senator doesn’t want to hold anyone responsible for anything,” Walker continued, referencing the botched U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan, precipitating the president’s slide in public opinion polls, from which he’s never recovered. “When Joe Biden did that in Afghanistan, what did he do? He just stood back. He stood back because he don’t have the guts to tell Joe Biden: ‘You know what you’re doing is wrong.’”

Walker finished his Senate campaign in the parking lot of a gun range in Kennesaw, a Cobb County community of 33,000 situated approximately 25 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. The 60-year-old Republican, a former professional football player and first-time candidate, has battled into a statistical tie with Warnock after stumbling early in the race, reflective in part of the Republican electoral wave building across the country.

REPUBLICANS ON A ROLL

The Senate majority could hinge on the outcome in Georgia, and Warnock, a dynamic Christian pastor, is battling to hang on.

Biden’s anemic job approval ratings, lower in Georgia than they are nationally, aren’t his only problem. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is on track to defeat Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams, possibly by a comfortable margin. Combined, those are stiff headwinds for the senator to withstand. On Monday, he stumped in Macon and Columbus, rallying supporters and encouraging Democratic field volunteers to turn out the vote.

Like Walker, Warnock is taking the fight to his opponent in a campaign that has seen the war of words between these two heavyweight black politicians escalate significantly in recent days.

“Not only does competence matter; character matters,” the senator told reporters in Macon, a Democratic stronghold, after addressing supporters in a broadside directed at his GOP challenger. “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?”

After two consecutive political disappointments, with Democrats winning the House majority in 2018 and, in 2020, Biden ousting Trump and Democrats winning the Senate majority, Republicans are enthusiastic about the prospect of a political resurgence. The GOP is on track to win the House in Tuesday’s vote and has the wind at its back in the fight for the Senate.

That excitement was evident Monday evening in Kennesaw as conservative talk radio host Clay Travis, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warmed up the crowd for Walker. “For the Left, the only thing worse than Satan is a black conservative,” Carson said.

Warnock won election to the Senate in a Jan. 5, 2021, special election runoff — in Georgia, the threshold for winning general elections is 50% of the vote. And with the contest between the senator and Walker so close, some are speculating that the race could proceed to a runoff, with the Senate majority possibly hanging in the balance.

But Walker, urging the crowd to call their friends and neighbors and get them to the polls to vote him, scoffed at suggestions that he wouldn’t score a decisive victory and avoid a runoff campaign.

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“Those that hasn’t voted and those that has voted, tell 10 of your friends to go out and vote for Herschel Walker. And if you don’t have no friends, go make some friends and tell them to go and vote for H.W. It’s time we get this right,” Walker said.

“They’re talking about a runoff,” he added. “And I’m like, ‘Runoff? Runoff? They’re talking about a runoff? No, we’re winning this. We ain’t talking about no runoff.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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