Walker Faces Tough Odds as Money Pours Into Georgia Race

Stakes are lower, but both parties are still taking race very seriously
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2022 3:54 PM CST
GOP Cranks Up Machine to Support Underdog Walker
Republican nominee for U.S Senate Herschel Walker speaks during a campaign rally Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022 in Canton, Ga.. Walker is in a runoff with incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker of Georgia is definitely the underdog heading into a runoff against Sen. Raphael Warnock, at least according to GOP operatives who spoke to the Hill. Walker finished 48,000 votes behind Warnock in the general election, in stark contrast to fellow Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who beat Democratic challenger Stacy Abrams by 210,000 votes and easily surpassed the 50% threshold necessary to avoid a runoff. Thus, Kemp won’t be on the ballot Dec. 6, which could mean depressed turnout among moderate Republicans, tens of thousands of whom crossed party lines to vote for Warnock or simply chose not to vote for a senator.

Then again, as the Hill also reports, Kemp has agreed to lend his "formidable political apparatus" to the Senate Leadership Fund, which in turn will oversee ground operations and data analytics for Walker. That’s one example of the money and resources both parties are throwing at the race, despite that the stakes are much lower since Democrats have already secured the slimmest possible Senate majority. As CNN reports, the Georgia seat still matters because Democrats will be defending a host of vulnerable seats in 2024, so they need to win all they can in this cycle. And as the Washington Post points out, the extra seat could provide some legislative cushion against certain moderate Democratic senators who sometimes buck the party line.

Although it’s unclear how voters will respond now that the stakes are lower, money and human resources are pouring into a race that has already seen $262 million in spending, per Reuters. According to Fox News, the RNC is sending hundreds of party officials to Georgia to boost the ground game. "Republicans from across the ecosystem are united in our support for Herschel Walker," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox. As for the potential role of former president Donald Trump, per Business Insider, most GOP operatives agree that Walker could probably use help from less-divisive surrogates, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or Gov. Brian Kemp himself. (More runoff election stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.