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A Georgia Senate race that could help decide which party controls the chamber following the November midterm elections is heating up just weeks before polling begins.
Former NFL great Hershel Walker, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has taken a three-point lead over Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, according to the latest InsiderAdvantage/FOX 5 Atlanta poll.
Newsmax noted further that in recent weeks, Warnock slipped four points in the poll while Walker has gained two points, a shift of six points in total. “Walker now leads 47% to 44% in one of the key battlegrounds as Republicans seek to flip back a Georgia Senate seat as the midterm battle for the upper-chamber majority heats up in the race’s final two months,” the outlet reported.
Chase Oliver, a Libertarian Party candidate, is having an impact in the race as well, with 4 percent support. Meanwhile, 5 percent of Georgians remain undecided, Newsmax reported, citing the polling results.
“Warnock is winning among younger voters and seniors but trails badly among those 40-64,” InsiderAdvantage Chairman Matt Towery noted in a statement to Fox 5 Atlanta. “Men support Walker at 60%, while women support Warnock at 55%. Walker is receiving 12% support from African American respondents.”
In the Peach State, there is a run-off electoral system, which is what led to Warnock flipping the seat blue in January 2021 against incumbent GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler after she and fellow Republican Sen. David Perdue both failed to secure 50 percent of the vote. Perdue ended up losing to then-Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. Reports following the election noted that hundreds of thousands of Republican voters who cast ballots in the 2020 elections did not vote during the run-offs.
“This race could very well be headed to a general election runoff given the fact that there seems to be few points among the various demographics up for grabs,” Towery noted in his poll assessment.
Walker, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, once played for Trump’s New Jersey Generals in the United States Football League, before becoming an NFL great.
Walker is popular in the state of Georgia, having starred at the University of Georgia, winning NCAA football’s Heisman Trophy in 1982 as a junior.
At times, the campaign between Walker and Warnock has turned negative. In June, Walker responded to attacks on him regarding his children after The Daily Beast reported that he had fathered a son 10 years ago and was ordered by a court to provide child support.
Days later, the same outlet also reported that Walker had another son who was not widely known. For his part, Walker denied that allegation.
“I have four children. Three sons and a daughter. They’re not ‘undisclosed’ — they’re my kids,” Walker told The Daily Wire.
“I support them all and love them all,” he added. “I’ve never denied my children, I confirmed this when I was appointed to the President’s Council on Sports Fitness and Nutrition, I just chose not to use them as props to win a political campaign.
“What parent would want their child involved in garbage, gutter politics like this?” the former NFL great added.
Walker has long spoken out against absent dads, especially in the black community.
“If you have a child with a woman, even if you have to leave that woman — even if you have to leave that woman — you don’t leave your child,” Walker said in 2020, according to CNBC, which noted further:
Campaign manager Scott Paradise confirmed Walker’s parentage on Tuesday in response to an article in The Daily Beast that said Walker has a “secret son” he isn’t actively involved in raising. Walker has publicly condemned absentee fathers and has touted his own close relationship with his adult son Christian in campaign speeches. “If you got a child, hug your child every day,” Walker said in a 2017 speech.
The second child’s mother took Walker to court a year after giving birth to obtain child support and a declaration of paternity, according to The Daily Beast, which cites public posts and a court document in its report. The publication withheld the name of the 10-year-old child and his mother due to privacy concerns.
The final child support order in that case reportedly came in August 2014, when the boy, who has taken Walker’s last name, was more than 2 years old.
Walker’s campaign pushed back on any hint he wasn’t providing for all of his kids.
“Herschel had a child years ago when he wasn’t married. He’s supported the child and continues to do so,” campaign manager Doug Paradise countered.