Herschel Walker confident, says Georgia runoff not likely

Georgia Senate Runoff

(NewsNation) — Georgia’s Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker says he doesn’t think his race is headed to a runoff and remains confident that voters will choose him over incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

“The momentum has been swinging this way and we’re going to continue to campaign to the people and let people know what we stand for,” Walker told NewsNation’s Brian Entin in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

Georgia is one of the only states in the nation that mandates runoff elections between the top two finishers following general elections in which no candidate achieves a majority. 

That means if neither candidate receives 50% of the vote in next week’s election, the race will head to a runoff vote in December.

As of Wednesday, Warnock has a 55% chance of winning the election versus Walker at 45%, according to Decision Desk HQ’s forecasting model. The latest odds are a sign the race is much tighter than just one month ago when the same model gave Warnock an 80% chance of winning.

Walker’s chances have improved despite multiple allegations that the pro-life former football star encouraged, and paid for, at least two women to have abortions. Walker has continued to deny the accusations.

To add to his challenges, the Republican candidate has been significantly outraised and outspent by his Democratic opponent.

Warnock’s campaign has spent $135 million since December 2020 compared to Walker’s $32 million, according to Federal Election Commission data.

During the conversation, Walker emphasized his status as a political outsider and encouraged voters to look at Warnock’s voting record.

“I’ve built my own company, I play my own football, I’ve done my own thing,” said Walker.

The football player turned business owner also dismissed widespread fears that the state’s new election rules have made it more difficult to vote.

Last year, Georgia’s Republican legislature passed a law rewriting many of the state’s voting rules.

The bill included a new photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail and made it a misdemeanor to hand out food and drink to people waiting in line at polling stations, among other changes.

President Biden likened the law to “Jim Crow in the 21st century,” and the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said it would lead to voter suppression and disenfranchise voters of color.

So far, voter turnout is outpacing 2018. More than 1.9 million Georgians have cast ballots as of Wednesday, which is about 30% of all active registered voters in the state. That turnout is about 30% higher than at the same point in the last midterms.

Walker said the high turnout is evidence that Biden and Abrams’ fears were misguided.

“People try to say that we’re such a racist place,” he said. “Well, this has proven that’s not true.”

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