DALTON, Ga. – Republican candidate Herschel Walker says record early voting turnout in Georgia’s Dec. 6 Senate election “looks good” to try to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in the key battleground state from the southeast
More than 1 million Georgians have already cast early ballots, according to state officials, and Democrats have been aggressively pushing to get their supporters to the polls to give Warnock an advantage ahead of Tuesday’s runoff election. coming.
“I think the turnout we’re seeing is good and I want to encourage people to follow it,” Warnock said earlier this week during the campaign.
To boost his early voting turnout to the court’s packed press, the senator will join former President Obama at a rally in Atlanta Thursday evening, on the eve of the last day to vote before next Tuesday’s contest.
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Democrats point to early voting data showing high turnout so far in blue counties and congressional districts. However, Walker dismissed the idea that Warnock and the Democrats were dominating early voting in the Georgia runoff.
“People are getting their voices heard right now and their votes are being counted, and I’m happy with the turnout because I think that’s a good thing,” Walker told Fox News.
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“I think the people that are coming out from what I’m hearing and seeing, it’s going to be a good thing for us,” Walker added while being interviewed on his campaign bus after a rally at a community center in this small corner town northwest of the state.
Walker, a former pro and college football star who won the Heisman Trophy and led the Georgia Bulldogs to a national championship, was narrowly edged out by Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s famed Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached Martin Luther King, Jr., in November. general elections Warnock led Walker by approximately 37,000 votes out of nearly 4 million cast. However, since neither candidate exceeded the 50% of the vote required by Georgia law to secure victory, the race headed to a runoff.
Walker launched his Senate campaign last summer, after months of encouragement from former President Trump, his longtime friend. Trump held in-person rallies in Georgia for Walker in September 2021 and March of this year, but has not returned to the Peach State to campaign in person since Walker handily won May’s Republican Senate primary.
The former president will hold a teleconference with Walker before Tuesday’s runoff, Republican sources confirmed to Fox News. However, the former president will not be traveling to the Peach State for an in-person rally with Walker.
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Sources close to both the Walker and Trump camps said Walker’s team did not ask Trump to visit her in person, and the former president did not suggest he appear in Georgia. With Warnock’s campaign running an ad linking Walker to the former president and emphasizing “Stop Donald Trump” and “Stop Herschel Walker,” there appears to be an acknowledgment by the Walker and Trump camps that an appearance by the former president could potentially bring more political risks than rewards.
Asked by Fox News if it would be better if Trump didn’t appear with him in person, Walker quickly responded: “Not at all. I’ve invited President Trump whenever he wants to come.”
Walker is getting many high-profile Republican friends to join him on the campaign trail. The latest will come Thursday, when he will be joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham of neighboring South Carolina and Mike Pompeo, who served as secretary of state in the Trump administration and is seriously considering a 2024 presidential campaign.
Conservative Sen. Ted Cruz also joined Walker on the runoff campaign. Popular Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who comfortably defeated Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams last month in a rematch of their 2018 showdown, joined Walker a week and a half ago on the stump and is starring in one of the latest TV commercials of the candidate for the Senate.
On Wednesday, Walker joined the campaign of Ralph Reed, the founder of the Evangelical Christian Faith and Freedom Coalition and former chairman of the Georgia GOP.
“There are 200,000 people who voted for Brian Kemp who didn’t vote for Herschel Walker and the polls show that we’re going to get 10-20% of those people, so that’s going to be 10-20 thousand votes that he didn’t get. on November 8th that he will get between now and December 6th,” Reed, a well-known veteran political consultant who in the 1990s led the Christian Coalition, told Fox News. “There are 81,000 people who voted libertarian, and all the polls show that it is [Walker] he will beat them two to one.”
With the Democrats secure in their control of the Senate and the House majority no longer up for grabs in the runoff election – unlike two years ago when the Democrats swept the twin sweeps of the Georgia Senate giving them the majority – there is concern that Republican voters will deflate.
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However, Reed disagreed with this argument, “because these people are crazy and they want to hit somebody.”
It points to the recognition that if Democrats win the Georgia runoff, they will have control of Senate committees they wouldn’t enjoy in an evenly divided chamber (Democrats would still retain their majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote in through their constitutional vote). as Senate President), Reed emphasized that “we were able to explain to voters and activists the difference between a 50-50 Senate and a 51-49 Senate.”
Fox News’ Jake Karalexis and Aubrie Spady contributed to this report.