Warnock And Walker Attack Each Other In New Ads As Early Voting Kicks Off
Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker launched dueling attack ads this week, as early voting is underway for the December 6 runoff election that will decide how much power Democrats hold in the Senate over the next two years.
Walker, in an ad released Monday, attacked Warnock’s character by highlighting claims that he abused his ex-wife, along with allegations that a low-income building partly owned by the church where Warnock serves as pastor recently issued eviction notices to residents.
The claims made in Walker’s ads are questionable: Warnock’s then-wife accused him of running over her foot with his car during an argument in 2020, but police found no evidence to support the allegation, according to Politifact, and while residents have been issued eviction notices at the MLK Tower in Columbia, none have actually been removed from their homes, Atlanta NBC affiliate 11 Alive reported, citing court documents.
Warnock’s campaign, meanwhile, highlighted a stream of comments Walker has made on the campaign trail in a recent ad, including statements that he would rather be a “werewolf” than a “vampire,” along with a missive about “bad air” in China; the ad features voters watching and reacting critically.
Warnock and Walker will face off in a runoff election on December 6 after neither candidate received the majority of votes needed to win outright on November 8. Warnock earned 49.4% of votes, compared to Walker’s 48.5%. A recent post-Election Day poll of likely Georgia voters showed Warnock with a slight edge over Walker, 51% to 47%. Democrats have already won the 50 seats needed to retain control of the Senate, and a victory for Warnock would give them even more of an advantage than the current makeup, which is split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote. Republicans have secured 49 seats.
181,711. That’s the number of voters who have cast ballots in the runoff since early voting began on Saturday, according to the the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, representing the second-highest turnout weekend in the past four major elections, Punchbowl News notes.
Warnock’s campaign has made a concerted effort to target Asian American and Pacific Islander voters as turnout among the demographic nearly doubled in Georgia from 2016 to 2020, according to figures from the Democratic data firm TargetSmart. Warnock’s campaign is running ads with Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean language subtitles, Punchbowl reported. Republicans have also sought to appeal to AAPI voters in the state–the Republican National Committee opened an Asian Pacific American community center in Berkeley Lake in September 2021. About 4.7% of Georgia’s population identifies as Asian or Pacific Islander, according to 2021 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
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