“I think it would be more effective if he did it over the phone,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican from Georgia, suggesting that Trump participate in a robocall the day before the election to voters in the GOP.
Gingrich compared the hypothetical call out of the vote to what Trump did for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in 2021, when Youngkin kept a healthy distance from Trump throughout the campaign but benefited from his call out. 11 a.m. to grassroots GOP voters.
Trump, who launched his own presidential campaign Nov. 15, did not hold a rally for Walker in the general election, only doing so before the state’s May primary. But people close to Trump say he has found other ways to be helpful to Walker, continuing to fundraise online and possibly hosting a tele-rally in the coming week. And Trump also reiterated his support for the candidate during his own presidential announcement at Mar-a-Lago.
But even that was overturned; Walker’s opponent, the Democratic senator. Raphael Warnock airs an advertisement containing a music video of Trump praising Walker and the words “Stop Donald Trump” and “Stop Herschel Walker”.
A person close to the Walker campaign, speaking on condition of anonymity about Georgia’s “complicated dynamic” with Trump, said the campaign did not ask Trump to visit the state – and Trump did not. no longer asked to come.
“We’re just trying not to rock the boat with all sides,” the person close to Walker’s campaign said. “We maintain together a fragile coalition.”
The campaign is up against Warnock’s fundraising machine, which has brought in more money than any other candidate this cycle. Democrats have more than doubled Republican spending in the past three weeks, hitting $34 million on ads so far, compared to $13.8 million for the GOP, according to ad tracking firm AdImpact.
The Republican effort to overthrow the Georgian Senate seat has also resulted in intraparty feuds between the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee. The two leading GOP senators clashed at times throughout the midterm elections, though their feud came to a head just after Nov. 8, when Scott unsuccessfully challenged McConnell for the job of caucus leader.
Gov. Brian Kemp, meanwhile, has been Walker’s star surrogate in recent weeks. The popular Georgia Republican cut ads, attended campaign events, appeared in direct mail and loaned his field operation to McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund to support Walker in the runoff.
“The governor was the most important surrogate we could have asked for,” the Walker camp source said, adding that Kemp did everything the Walker campaign asked of him.
A poll shared with POLITICO that was conducted Nov. 15-17 by a pro-Walker super PAC confirmed that Kemp — who outperformed Walker by nearly 5 percentage points — is the most effective Republican Walker can have at his side. sides. Kemp’s preference among likely run-off voters stood at 60%, with an unfavorable rating of 33%. Trump’s numbers, according to the poll, stand at 36% favorable and 59% unfavorable – a clear sign that the former president could be doing more harm than good heading into the runoff.
“I can tell you, based on the numbers we’re seeing, it would be a lot better to have Brian Kemp onstage with Herschel Walker” than Trump, said Stephen Lawson, a Georgia Republican strategist working at 34N22, the pro -Walker super PAC. The group featured Kemp in several mailings sent during the run-off, including one with a first-person message from the governor urging voters to support his “friend,” Walker.
The brew is also a power struggle between Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who Walker’s aides initially feared would clash over any respective involvement in the runoff. But although senior GOP officials believe DeSantis, in theory, would be more useful than Trump in boosting Republican turnout in the second round, the Florida governor has also limited his involvement in the race to fundraising appeals. It also wouldn’t be out of the question for DeSantis to make a phone call to voters just before Election Day, although no such plans are currently in the works, according to a knowledgeable person.
Top Republicans, including Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, have campaigned for Walker in recent weeks, and other stars like Dr. Ben Carson and Nikki Haley have launched fundraising appeals or held support events. Sen. Tim Scott is expected to campaign with Walker in the coming days. And Mike Pompeo will be in Georgia to support Walker on Thursday, when former President Barack Obama hosts a rally with Warnock.
“Friend, I’m not going to water it down,” Haley wrote in a fundraising email Monday, “this Georgia election runoff is going to be a total DAWG FIGHT, and Herschel Walker needs us every step of the way. path.”
Erick Erickson, a conservative talk show host who lives in Georgia, said Republican voters mostly shrugged in the race, in part because Democrats had already won a Senate majority by winning 50 seats; Vice President Kamala Harris provides the deciding vote.
“There’s a lack of enthusiasm about Walker as a candidate, and it’s kind of like, what’s the point if we’re not going to win the Senate? So why bother? Erickson said. “There is a palpable sense of frustration with Republicans in Georgia who have seen their entire statewide winning slate except for the guy Trump convinced to run, and he There’s a lingering sense of frustration that anyone else would have won, and Herschel’s baggage weighed it down. .”
The GOP’s loss in the Nevada Senate race — a state the party saw as its best pick-up opportunity heading into Election Day — “cut the wind in every direction,” the person familiar with said. Walker’s campaign. If Georgia had become instrumental in the fight for control of the Senate, perhaps triple the amount of money would be pouring in for Walker in the runoff, according to the campaign.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, Walker hosted several fundraisers, including in-person and Zoom events. Sunday night, Walker raised more than $250,000, according to a person with knowledge of the event.
Early voting began in many counties across the state over the weekend and will continue through Friday.