McConnell, Cruz, and Others Make Herschel Walker a Top Priority – Opinion

Republicans appear to have a clear choice in the Senate race for Georgia. The state has a potential opening, with Sen. Raphael Warnock scoring just 4 points more than his challenger Herschel Walk. This may be a rare opportunity in other swing states.

Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hosted a fundraiser in Louisville for Walker over the weekend. Ted Cruz, who was speaking in Georgia at the same time, also voiced support for Walker and condemned Warnock.

McConnell wasn’t the only national Republican reinforcing his support for Walker over the weekend. U.S. senator Ted Cruz, who is a candidate for 2024, traveled to Georgia Saturday to mobilise conservatives behind Walker.

Cruz told dozens of activists at his Truth and Courage PAC’s summit that the nation has paid the political price after Georgia voters “tragically” elected Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in 2021.

The Texas Republican called Warnock a “perfectly nice fellow whose views are radical and extreme and wildly out of step with the people of Georgia.” Walker, meanwhile, is “truly an amazing man.”

AP Photo/Ben Gray

It’s one of the key races Republicans really need to win if they want to take back the Senate for the second half of President Joe Biden’s term. As Republicans worry about the recent Democratic surge, other races in swing states are showing mixed results.

But things aren’t exactly ideal for Democrats, either. Continued economic struggles have made voters very wary of the party in power, and mixed messages coming out of the Biden administration don’t actually inspire confidence.

One of the biggest signs that Democrats are in more trouble than they’d like to admit is the fact that they don’t seem to want to talk about, or campaign with,  Biden, especially in swing states. Warnock is an example.

“I work with anybody to get something good done for the people of Georgia,” he told the same crowd, highlighting a trio of Republican senators with whom he has made legislative deals. Warnock mentioned President Joe Biden’s name just once and referred several other times only to “the president of the United States,” trying to distinguish himself from Biden — and the rising inflation that has marked his term.

Warnock will be running for his first full Senate term. He is showing himself to be a senator who would do anything to improve his state. That’s a shift from his approach in what were nationally elevated twin runoff campaigns won by Warnock and fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff in January 2021, giving their party Senate control two months after Biden was elected president.

Now, with inflation up and Biden’s popularity down, Warnock requires a more nuanced argument, and he’s selling his work in Washington, especially on the economy, as something distinct from the White House and the Senate’s Democratic leadership.

Here’s the reason that Warnock has to play the bipartisan warrior: In early 2021, Warnock was able to take advantage of tens of thousands of Republican voters staying home and heavy Democrat enthusiasm to win in the runoff against Kelly Loeffler. But, 2022 is a time when the Republican Party has regained its energy. Walker is starting to rebound with a better campaign team and more public appearances.

Even though Georgia’s voters are more likely than others to cross-vote, Brian Kemp is a very popular governor that can carry Walker to victory.

McConnell’s recent comments about quality candidates irritated many conservatives. But it’s clear that he and other Republicans are set on getting some of the candidates who were struggling across the finish line. Walker is the likely candidate to turn a seat. This would make it a huge win for Republicans in southern states to get a Senate seat.

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