Republicans support Herschel Walker.
“I think we’re going to stick with Walker… we’re going to go all the way,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. said in an interview with CNN which aired on Tuesday afternoon. “I think they’ll hang in there and hold their own until the end.”
McConnell’s comments came hours before The The Washington Post reported that “the mother of one of Herschel Walker’s children had to repeatedly pressure the former soccer star who is now the Republican candidate for the Georgia Senate for funds to pay for an abortion in 2009 that she said he wanted her to have, according to the woman and a person she confided in at the time.
It was the latest in a series of allegations circulating around Walker and his past relationships with women. Amid it all, his son, Christian, a conservative influencer, spoke out against his father – insisting he was a less than ideal parent and that family members had urged him not to. not stand for election.
The contrast between McConnell’s vote of confidence in Walker and the latest allegation against the Republican Senate candidate in Georgia is stark. But it speaks to an uncomfortable reality that underlies Republicans’ continued support for Walker: They badly need to win that Senate majority seat, and it’s simply too late now to walk away from him and his troubled candidacy.
The Senate’s calculations are simple. Republicans need to win a single seat to win a majority. But, with Dr Mehmet Oz trailing in Pennsylvania where Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is retiring and Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly surprisingly strong against Blake Masters, Republicans see a very narrow window of opportunity to achieve the gains they need.
A two-seater window, in fact. Nevada, where Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in a very close race with Adam Laxalt and, you guessed it, Georgia, where Walker continues to race against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
There is simply no other board seat for Republicans that could get them away from Walker. New Hampshire was, at the start of the election cycle, widely seen as a potential takeover, but popular Gov. Chris Sununu decided not to run and aligned himself with Trump. Don Bolduc became the Republican nominee. While Republican strategists still view Sen. Maggie Hassan as vulnerable, she is clearly in a better position than many expected her to be even a year ago. In Colorado, Democratic Senator Michael Bennet’s numbers are a bit low but a Marist poll released this week showed him leading Republican nominee Joe O’Dea 48% to 41%.
Given all of this, what McConnell is getting into is a bit realpolitik. He stays with Walker not because he buys that all the allegations against Walker are false or because he thinks Walker is a stellar candidate, but because Walker gives him the best chance of winning in a state where the polls suggest Republicans can still win.
That’s it. Don’t think about it too much. It’s not about Walker. Not really. It’s about getting McConnell to 51 Senate seats — pure and simple.