OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former college football and NFL great Herschel Walker’s campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia appears to be going well, according to a survey on Friday.
Walker has taken a 5-point lead over Warnock just days before the Nov. 8 midterms, though early voting has already begun in the Peach State, according to Rasmussen Reports.
“The key demographic for Walker is independent voters, which he leads Warnock by a 14-point margin, 49% to 35%. And this despite Warnock’s three dollars to every dollar the former Heisman Trophy winner’s campaign has raised,” the Center Square reported, citing the survey.
“The same poll of 1,053 of likely Georgia voters offers more good news for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. His lead is 51% to 41% over Democratic challenger Stacy Abrams. Like with Walker, unaffiliated voters are breaking in a big way, 49% to 32%, for the incumbent,” the outlet continued.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls has Walker leading by a smaller margin, 1.6 percent.
Warnock and Walker held a debate last week where, at times, the incumbent seemed off-guard.
In particular, Walker held Warnock’s feet to the fire during an exchange about abortion. Warnock, who is a pastor, advocates for no limits on abortion. Walker is pro-life.
Walker said, “[Warnock] told me black lives matter, and if you think about it, senator, in Atlanta, Georgia, there’s more black babies that is aborted than anything. So if black lives matter, why are you not protecting those babies? And instead of aborting those babies, why are you not baptizing those babies?”
Warnock replied, “I think the women of Georgia have a clear choice.”
“A patient’s room is too narrow and small and cramped a space for a woman, her doctor and the United States government. We are witnessing right now what happens when politicians, most of them men, pile into patient’s rooms,” Warnock said. “The women of Georgia [deserve] a senator who will stand with them. I trust women more than I trust politicians.”
Herschel Walker (R): “If Black Lives Matter, why are you not protecting those babies, and instead of aborting those babies, why are you not baptizing those babies?”
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D): “I think the women of Georgia have a clear choice.” pic.twitter.com/Ry6CaAilRB
— The Recount (@therecount) October 14, 2022
Walker responded: “He’s a neat talker, but did he not mention that there’s a baby in that room as well?”
Warnock: "A patient's room is too … cramped a space for a woman, her doctor, and the US government."
Walker: "There's a baby in that room as well." pic.twitter.com/l5NJO9z7G5
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 14, 2022
Walker also attempted to tie Warnock to President Joe Biden’s failed agenda, noting that he had voted with Biden 96 percent of the time.
Walker, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, took a three-point lead over Warnock last week, 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 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.