Herschel Walker tumbles in Georgia Senate poll as scandals mount

Topline

Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has opened a 12-point lead against his Republican opponent Herschel Walker, according to a SurveyUSA poll released Wednesday, amid growing scandals accusing Walker, a staunch anti-abortion candidate, of paying for the abortion of his girlfriend in 2009 and not supporting his four children.

Highlights

The SurveyUSA poll placed Warnock, Georgia’s first senator and Baptist minister, ahead of Walker, a former University of Georgia running back, 50% to 38% among more than 1,000 likely voters, in the new poll, conducted between September 30 and October 4.

The double-digit advance comes amid a series of controversies, including a Daily Beast report on Tuesday claiming that in 2009 Walker paid for his then-girlfriend to have an abortion because he didn’t wanted no children, although in the years that followed Walker called for a nationwide ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or threats to a mother’s life – Walker denied the allegation.

Following the report, Walker’s son and conservative social media star Christian Walker posted several videos on social media accusing Walker of committing ‘atrocities’ against his mother and ‘having sex with other women “instead of raising her children.

In the survey, which began before the latest Walker scandal broke but ended a day later, Warnock held a bigger lead among female voters in Georgia, who favor him 57% to 28%, while men are split at 44%, according to the new poll.

Some 51% of respondents had an “unfavorable” opinion of Walker, compared to 28% who found him “favorable”, while 40% said Warnock was unfavorable and 43% said he was favourable.

Less than a third of independents said they would vote for Warnock, along with 21% who identified as moderates, 75% of Republicans and 69% of respondents who identified as conservatives.

Key context

Walker has fallen significantly from June polls, when he was tied at 47% with Warnock, according to an East Carolina University poll. The Trump-backed candidate had won the state’s Republican primary in a landslide a month earlier, winning 68.2% of the vote. The former Heisman Trophy winner has been mired in controversy throughout his candidacy, including allegations of harassment and physical threats, as well as domestic violence against several women, including his ex-wife. Walker told Axios last December that he was “responsible” for his history of violence, blaming the incidents on mental health issues. According to this week’s Daily Beast report, Walker, who describes himself as a family man, paid his former girlfriend $700 to cover the cost of an abortion and gave her a get well card.

Contra

FiveThirtyEight’s aggregate polling data had Warnock just two points ahead of Walker in the popular vote, leading 50.2% to 48.2% – other recent polls in FiveThirtyEight’s indicator put Warnock with a narrower lead, while a University of Georgia poll shows Walker two points ahead.

Chief Spokesperson

Despite growing criticism of Walker, who described himself on the campaign trail as a family man, Republicans doubled their support this week, with Senate Republican National Committee Chairman Rick Scott saying that Republicans “will stand with” Walker and “Georgians will stand with”. him too.”

Tangent

Republican lawmakers are looking to the midterm elections to flip the Senate, which is currently split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the deciding vote. However, the Democrats are counting on several races, including in Georgia, to keep control of the hemicycle. Other close races include the Senate race in Pennsylvania, where Republican candidate and former TV personality Mehmet Oz is trailing in the polls, Wisconsin, where incumbent Senator Ron Johnson (R) holds a narrow lead, and Ohio, where Republican candidate JD Vance is trailing. in the race for a free seat.

Further reading

Republican Party ‘backs’ Herschel Walker amid abortion scandal, says National Speaker (Forbes)

Herschel Walker’s son Christian turns on him – ‘It’s all a lie’ – as scandal grows (Forbes)

Trump-endorsed Herschel Walker falls behind Warnock in Georgia Senate poll (Forbes)

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