Roughly two months ago (May 13, 2022), I published an article predicting Republican football legend Herschel Walker would unseat Democratic U.S. Senate incumbent Raphael Warnock. Of course, I had no idea Walker’s personal life was so suspect and that he’d be so awful on the campaign trail. As a result, and while we’re still nearly four months from Election Day, I’m changing my pick.
Prediction: Warnock by 2 percentage points.
In the aforementioned piece, I outlined in vivid detail why I believed Walker would win but clearly stated Sen. Warnock was very much a ‘live dog’ because Walker hadn’t appeared ‘politically astute or issue-acclimated when making statements.’
Well, that was an understatement. Moreover, he seems to have more issues.
On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that Walker has three unknown children that he apparently tried to hide from his campaign and the media.
So, in addition to allegedly having children all over the place, Walker, 60, is facing accusations of domestic violence, has already committed numerous gaffes during public speaking appearances, has allegedly lied about his accomplishments, and is believed to have been involved in shady business dealings.
Advantage: Warnock… Big time.
Red wave or not in November, Walker, not Warnock, faces more of an uphill climb. And while Walker has the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, the former (pun not intended) was none too pleased when MAGA’s poster boy tried to take credit for Herschel’s win in the Georgia Republican Primary.
In May, Walker appeared on the PBS interview show “Love & Respect With Killer Mike” and complained about how Trump was falsely taking credit for his win in the primary, and even his decision to run at all.
“One thing that people don’t know is President Trump never asked me. I need to tell him that he never asked,” Walker told Killer Mike. “I heard it all on television that he’s going to ask Herschel, saying Hershel is going to run. President Trump never came out and said ‘Herschel, will you run for that Senate seat?’”
“So, I’m mad at him, because he never asked, but he’s taking credit that he asked,” Walker said.
So, what are the polls saying since all this craziness?
Walker had won in three consecutive polls and 4 of 5 following the early April survey. Since then, he’s failed to win any of the three subsequent polls. Moreover, the same pollster (Quinnipac) that had Walker ahead by one in January had him down by double digits in late June.
Secondly, in what’s clearly the worst kind of news for Walker, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is pulling neck-and-neck with Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp.
I don’t think Abrams will win but the closer she is to Kemp the longer the odds are of a Walker victory. If Abrams finishes within two points of the governor, who has far more political clout than Walker, Warnock should cruise to a decisive victory.
Hypothesis: If a popular Republican incumbent like Kemp has to struggle to win, how can a scandal-plagued novice who is a challenger in the same party and state expect to be victorious in his race?
As long as Warnock continues to campaign well and not make any mistakes, look for him to retain his U.S. Senate seat.
Please share your 2022 Georgia Senate race prediction below.