Obama urges Georgia Democrats to push turnout for Warnock

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ATLANTA (AP) — Former President Barack Obama and Senator Raphael Warnock on Thursday urged Democratic voters to maintain a clear lead in early voting in the second round of the Georgia Senate against Republican Herschel Walker ahead of Friday’s last day of early personal voting and Election Day on Tuesday.

“If they didn’t get tired, you can’t get tired either,” Obama told a crowd gathered in a cavernous former railroad repair shop east of downtown Atlanta.

Voters have already cast more than 1.4 million votes amid an all-hands-on-deck push by Democrats to collect as many votes as possible, while Republicans, especially Walker, have taken a less aggressive approach that leaves the GOP candidate strong could become dependent on the second round. Election day turnout.

“We have to keep showing up,” Warnock told the crowd at his biggest event of the four-week runoff blitz. “We have to keep voting. We can’t give it up for a second. We have to keep our foot on the gas until victory.”

Both Obama and Warnock criticized Walker, part of Democratic attacks that Walker is unqualified and untruthful.

“I believe in my soul that Georgia knows that Georgia is better than Herschel Walker,” Warnock said.

Obama told a story about how Walker once claimed to have let Obama beat him in basketball, but later admitted that he had never met the Democrat.

“If you tell bald lies over and over again, it says something about the kind of person you are and the kind of leader you would be if you were elected to the United States Senate,” Obama said.

Voters in Georgia cast more than 1.4 million votes.

Warnock voted Sunday after a religious-infused rally that appealed to the civil rights traditions of the Southern Black Church, including Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Warnock occupies the pulpit once held by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Walker, meanwhile, is expected to vote on second-round election day, as he did in November for the midterm elections.

Warnock led Walker with about 37,000 votes of the nearly 4 million votes cast in the general election but failed to meet the required majority under Georgian law.

Statewide early voting data, including some weekday weekends and Thanksgiving in certain counties, shows higher overall turnout in the most Democratic counties and congressional districts. Still, both parties find data to tout as they look for some advantage in the final game of the 2022 by-election cycle, and both campaigns generally agree that Warnock will take the lead among the early voters, as he did in the first round, while Walker will have the advantage in the polls on Election Day, as he did in November. The respective margins will determine the final winner.

TargetSmart, a Democratic data company, analyzed the identities of the more than 830,000 voters who voted at the end of Tuesday and found that Democrats increased their advantage by 14 percentage points from what it was with six days to go before Nov. 8 election. That analysis did not include the more than 240,000 additional votes cast on Wednesday.

Walker’s campaign manager, Scott Paradise, opposed views of Democrats’ domination. He argued that their advantage is only because it was heavily Democratic metropolitan counties voting early over the weekend, while more Republican areas waited until the statewide mandatory early voting period began Monday. Republicans had unsuccessfully sued in state court to block Saturday’s early vote for the drain.

Paradise said an analysis of the Walker campaign showed that nine of the 10 counties with the highest turnout on Monday were counties that Walker won in November with a combined 70% of the vote. He added that of the state’s most populous counties — those with more than 100,000 registered voters — it was two Republican strongholds, Hall and Forsyth, that posted the highest turnout rates on Monday. Paradise said these trends reflect the great enthusiasm among Republicans.

Still, Republicans have some catching up to do.

According to state voting data compiled by Atlanta independent analyst Ryan Anderson, four of the five Democratic-controlled congressional districts through Tuesday already had turnout of at least 43% of the total early vote for the November election. , when every Georgia county had at least 17 days of early in-person voting. Only one of Georgia’s nine Republican-controlled congressional districts had crossed that 43% mark.

Warnock won the seat first as part of simultaneous Senate rounds on January 5, 2021, when he and Jon Ossoff surpassed the Republican incumbent to give the Democrats limited control of the Senate before the start of President Joe Biden’s term.

“It happened because of you, Georgia, and now we need you to do it again,” Obama said.

Warnock is now seeking a full six-year term. This time, Senate scrutiny is out of the question: The Democrats have already secured 50 seats and have the casting vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. That puts pressure on both Warnock and Walker’s campaigns to convince Georgia voters that it’s worth casting a second ballot, even if the national stakes aren’t as high.

However, Obama argued on behalf of Warnock himself, saying “51 is better than 50 because it means Senator Warnock will continue to represent you in Washington.”

Warnock received about 70% of his total votes in the first round by pre-voting; for Walker it was about 58%. That translated into an advantage of more than 256,000 votes for Warnock. Walker answered with an Election Day advantage of more than 200,000.

The senator’s campaign, Democratic Party committees and aligned political action committees have aligned their voter turnout efforts with early voting. Republicans have responded with their own extensive push, including a direct-mail push from a super political action committee with Governor Brian Kemp receiving 200,000 votes more than Walker to comfortably win a second term.

Still, Republicans are battling some internal party narratives, including former President Donald Trump, who question some pre-ballots, particularly mail-in ballots, pushing some Republicans toward an Election Day vote. As recently as Tuesday, Trump stated on social media that “YOU CAN NEVER HAVE FAIR AND FREE ELECTIONS WITH MAIL-IN BALLOTS — NEVER, NEVER NEVER. WILL NOT AND CANNOT HAPPEN!!!”

Walker himself makes no mention at all of early in-person ballots or mail-in ballots as he urges his supporters to vote.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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