Warnock and Walker hold events on runoff election eve

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock appears at a shop talk at Swag Shop in Edgewood Neighborhood on eve of the runoff election, Dec. 5, 2022. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)

Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker held nine in-person campaign events on Monday.

Four out of five stops for Walker were in Republican counties that he won in November by more than 70%. Those stops were in Flowery Branch, Dawsonville, Ellijay and Calhoun.

His fifth and final stop was in Kennesaw at the Governors Gun Club. He appeared with Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

“We got to get in the game. Get out to vote. And that’s the way your voice is going to be heard,” said Walker.

Also, on Monday, Walker held a virtual rally with former President Donald Trump, WABE confirmed with a Republican source.

The stop in Kennesaw can be seen as a push to attract Cobb voters to increase Walker’s overall results in the county in November. Walker finished behind Warnock by 16%, while Republican Gov. Brian Kemp only finished 4% behind Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams.

That is part of the challenge for Walker in Georgia, as he finished more than 200,000 behind his fellow Republican Kemp in November. Kemp soundly beat Abrams, while Walker finished 37,000 votes behind Warnock.

Herschel Walker at a pre-runoff election rally in Kennesaw at the Governor’s Gun Club on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)

At the same time, Warnock could not avoid a runoff because he did not reach 50% of the November vote.

Warnock held four campaign events across Atlanta on Monday, which targeted a couple of key voting groups, including union workers and college students.

He also stopped at The Swag Shop on Edgewood Avenue, one of the three Atlanta barbershops owned by rapper and activist Killer Mike, host of “Love & Respect with Killer Mike” on WABE-TV. Also in attendance were DJ & producer D-Nice and Christian performer Israel Houghton.

“It all really comes down to tomorrow,” said Warnock. “Your vote is your voice. Your voice is your human dignity.”

Warnock is trying to cobble together a coalition of Democratic, independent and even some Republican voters to win this runoff.

This is the fifth time he has appeared on the ballot since November 2020. He also appeared in January 2021, when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate, as well as earlier this year in the Democratic primary and the general election.

While U.S. Senate Democrats have already regained control with 50 members, as well as the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, there are still power issues at stake.

Walker winning would mean continued power sharing in the U.S. Senate. One specific committee mentioned on the campaign trail by Walker surrogates has been the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which considers the nominates of federal judges, including for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Polls in Georgia will be open today from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.