According to a recent poll by COMPETE Digital, Georgia’s U.S. Senate Runoff Election remains in statistical dead heat, with incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock (D) and his challenge, Republican candidate Herschel Walker, each getting 50 percent of likely voters’ support. The survey polled 939 likely Georgia voters and had a margin of error of 3.1%.
With Republican hopes of a red wave in the 2022 Mid-Term Election dashed, Georgia’s runoff result won’t swing Senate control, but the outcome could keep certain bills in limbo on close votes if one or two Democrats known as swing voters, such as West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin or Arizona’s Kristen Sinema, who may side with Republicans against an effort to abolish the filibuster. (To learn more about the filibuster, listen to this voter-friendly explanation of the filibuster from Georgia political talk show host Ben Burnett.)
Should Herschel Walker unseat Warnock. Democrats will have at least a tie-breaking vote with Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaker. Should Warnock emerge again as the victor of a close runoff election, Democrats would gain a two-vote lead, and Harris’ vote wouldn’t be necessary.
WARNOCK ENJOYS SLIGHT ADVANTAGE WITH INDEPENDENTS
The survey showed Warnock leading among independent voters, gaining 52% of support, while Walker led among supporters of Libertarian Chase Oliver, gaining 67% of support, but Oliver’s vote share only counted for 2.1% of all votes. Georgia voters don’t register by party, but it’s fair to say that at least 25% of them would be considered independent if they were forced to self identify.
Turnout in runoff elections is generally lower than in general elections, making “get out the vote” efforts to return original supporters to vote essential, per former Georgia State Senate President pro tempore Eric Johnson.
WALKER PORTRAYED AS MENTALLY UNFIT IN NEW AD
Warnock’s campaign took a page out of the Republican playbook against Biden. Earlier this week, Warnock’s campaign released a new ad titled, “Embarrassing”, showing lowlights of Walker’s speeches, including several verbal gaffes and incoherent quotes. Warnock’s attempt to portray Walker as mentally unfit for office mimics messaging that has been used against Biden dating back to the start of his 2020 candidacy. Footage in the ad showcases Walker speaking about vampire movies, pregnant cows and how “our good air decided to float over to China’s bad air.”
The ad’s transcript reads:
“I’m Raphael Warnock and I approve this message. You ever watch a stupid movie late at night? You’re going to get better. Don’t get better. But you keep watching it. Anyway. I was watching this movie watching this movie called Fright Night Free Tonight and some kind of a night, but it’s about vampires, vampires, some people, what the hell is he talking about? A real wild wolf can kill a vampire. Did you know that? I never knew that? So I don’t want to be a vampire anymore. I want to be a werewolf. You’re serious about this, right? So I’ve been telling this little story about this bull out in the field. Six cars, three of them are pregnant. There’s no substance, there’s nothing. So you know, you got something going on. It makes me want to laugh and then it makes me think we’re in trouble. I was decided to china. So when china gets out there, no one’s watching this and being like, oh man, that guy’s got it together. It is embarrassing. Let’s call it what it is. It is embarrassing.”