Warnock and Walker are making a final push in the high-stakes Georgia Senate runoff


On that day Final day of overtime at GeorgiaDemocratic Senate. Raphael Warnock expressed confidence but warned supporters against complacency in his second run with Republican candidate and ex-footballer Herschel Walker.

“Herschel Walker still has a way to go to win this race,” Warnock said after stopping the campaign on Monday. “If there’s one thing I worry about, people will think we don’t need their voice. We do. You have to show up.

Warnock was the leading vote-getter in last month’s general election, but he failed to secure a majority, extending the contest to December. After a four-week runoff campaign, Warnock and Democrats are hopeful he can outlast Walker and secure a full, six-year term. Joe Biden will help cement Georgia as a purple state in 2020, and Warnock and Jon Ossoff won the January 2021 runoffs, giving the president a Democratic Senate.

Tuesday’s race is expected to be even tighter, with both parties and coalition groups pouring millions into a contest that could shape the balance of power in the Senate over the next two years.

Democrats already have control of the chamber, but Warnock’s victory — after the party picked up a seat in Pennsylvania — would require a vote for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and allow Democrats to lead caucuses that have been divided since Biden took office. With that in mind, Walker and several other GOP senators have asked Republicans to send Biden and his policies to Washington to vet him.

“We’ve been working on getting out the vote, getting out the vote, getting out the vote,” said Walker, who has hit the ground running across North Georgia in five planned rallies ahead of the election. “A vote for Warnock is a vote for these failed policies. Voting for me is the best reward.

During a campaign rally for Warnock in Atlanta last week, former President Barack Obama emphasized the immediate impact of Democrats winning the 51st Senate seat. “It prevents one from having everything,” he said, while looking ahead to the next election and its implications.

“It puts us in a better position when you get another election two years from now and the Senate map is tilted in favor of the Republicans,” Obama said. “And it would help prevent Republicans from gaining a filibuster-proof majority that would allow them to do things like pass the federal abortion ban.”

In the final act of the 2022 midterm elections, Georgia voters will once again have the last word.

For the past few weeks, Georgia Republican Party leaders have been touting in-person voting. That’s despite GOP officials failing to close the vote on the Saturday after Thanksgiving because of a controversial reading of state voting laws. The Georgia Supreme Court ultimately upheld a lower court ruling that allowed them to open.

On Friday, the state broke its single-day record, once again, with more than 350,000 people going to the polls before Election Day.

But those statistics, while impressive, were timely An early voting period It has been significantly shortened since 2021. While several days of last week ended with historically high turnout, the overall voter turnout prior to this runoff — when compared to the 2021 election — actually declined, from roughly 3.1 million last year. 1.87 million by 2022. (About 2.5 million people voted before Election Day last month.)

Despite the uncertainty some Democrats feel around the polls, especially given Tuesday’s bleak weather forecast, Walker faces tough challenges with money and math.

Democrats have more than doubled GOP ad spending in the past month alone, according to a CNN analysis of data from AdImpact. Since Nov. 9, Democrats have spent an astounding $55 million on TV spots to the GOP’s $26 million.

Walker is trying to close an extraordinary 200,000-vote gap between his November vote total and that of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who easily defeated Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. That’s a deficit that complicates Walker’s path as he looks to win over Republican or pro-Republican voters who didn’t turn out for him last month.

Yet his GOP supporters are keeping hope alive.

“I think there’s a lot of people who regret not getting out and voting last time,” said retiree Elizabeth Walters, who visited Walker during a weekend stop in Loganville. “I think it might be close, but I think he’s going to win.”

Confidence is high in many Republican circles in Washington, where a mix of discontent and disillusionment with the Walker campaign and Former President Donald TrumpWho hired him to run it?

Trump skipped Georgia but held a telethon Monday night to rally his supporters.

“If Herschel wins this race, Republicans can make life a little more difficult for Chuck Schumer, and we can slam on the brakes on every far-left judge and everything that’s been happening now for the last two years, is happening in our country.” Trump said in less than 10 minutes of remarks.

“We’re in dire straits in this nation,” said John Hayes, a Republican pollster who watched the Walker campaign during a weekend stop. “I think there will be a lot of Republicans coming out to vote on Tuesday. That’s what we need.”

After tough-arming Walker for much of the general election campaign, Kemp did what he could to help. With Trump effectively out of the picture, Kemp emerged as an ideal replacement for Walker, appearing in a pair of television ads during his fellow Republican’s run.

A victory for Walker would be a boon for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the upcoming Congress. Trump, ignoring all evidence that his involvement complicated the GOP’s path here, will certainly be vindicated.

But the most profound effect of Walker’s victory would be to raise Kemp’s national stature. After defeating a Trump-backed primary challenger last spring and being re-elected by a landslide last month, he is the rare top Republican to maintain his popularity in the GOP by publicly rejecting Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election. The foundation.

Further underscoring the growing strength of the Kemp brand is Warnock’s effort to strengthen and grow his support among so-called crossover voters. Ahead of the runoff, Warnock launched an ad reminding voters that they supported Kemp and planned to do the same for Warnock on Tuesday.

But in a final push, Democrats are also trying to energize young voters who have emerged as increasingly important parts of the party’s coalition over the past two cycles.

At Georgia Tech on Monday, Warnock urged students who had not already voted to walk out on Tuesday — and asked them to encourage their friends and family to do the same.

“If you’ve already voted, I want you to know that your job isn’t done yet. Your job is to get a few more of your friends,” Warnock said. “Call Lottie, Dottie and everybody. Say it’s time to vote.

Warnock was introduced by Florida Representative-elect Maxwell Frost, who would become the first Gen-Z member of Congress.

“We know that young people don’t make up the largest voting bloc right now, but we are the most important constituency,” Frost said.

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