Herschel Walker and Sen. Raphael Warnock are heading to a runoff election on December 6th after they virtually tied in Georgia on Tuesday. It is difficult for incumbents to win runoffs but Republicans are quickly starting to get a sense of deja vu after losing the Senate majority in a Georgia runoff election in 2020. There are many factors which come into play when predicting the outcome of this runoff and many of them will pose challenges to Herschel Walker.
First off, Warnock already has experience winning runoffs, as he did in 2020, and his campaign will be ready to implement the tactics which lead him to victory only two years ago. Walker has to re-energize his base to come back out in only 4 weeks and this time he won’t have the very popular governor, Brian Kemp, on the ballot to give him a boost.
Another major factor is the likelihood that Trump is expected to announce the start of his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday. University of Georgia professor of political science Charles Bullock told Fox that this will take attention away from Walker. Bullok said:
“If Trump does announce, that would on balance help Raphael Warnock. It would remind those Republican voters who didn’t like Trump and who wouldn’t vote for Trump – we’re talking about mainly white, college-educated voters, probably living in the suburbs – it would remind them what they didn’t like about Trump.”
“They can’t vote against him, but they can vote against his stand-in in the form of Herschel Walker,”
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich was asked how Trump plans to support Walker in the lead up to the runoff. Budowich responded, “President Trump endorsed Herschel Walker early and invested in his success. Now, after forcing a runoff, President Trump remains committed to his success and his support will be critical on Election Day.”
How much Walker’s camp looks to be promoted by Trump, who has strongly endorsed him, will be interesting to watch in the coming weeks. Walker will most definitely look to bring in Governor Kemp who shares great popularity among Georgians.
The last factor is the presence of another president, Joe Biden. Biden has mostly stayed on the sidelines of critical Senate races during the midterms and we’ll have to wait and see if comes to Georgia.