Despite Republicans having lost momentum during the summer, they appear to be bouncing back this fall, to the point that they’re now once more projected by some pollsters to retake both the House AND Senate.
Take RealClearPolitics, which aggregates polling data. The site now projects that Republicans will gain two Senate seats — Nevada (Adam Laxalt) and Arizona (Blake Masters) — and retake the upper chamber of Congress 52-48.
The new projection, reportedly published Friday, comes a day after Masters completely trounced his opponent, incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly, in a debate Thursday evening.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) October 8, 2022
However, the projection also comes during the same week that Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker was “exposed” by a litany of media hit pieces.
The hit pieces detailed how Walker had allegedly first paid for a woman’s abortion in 2009 and then allegedly asked her to get another abortion two years later.
The latest accusation was dropped Friday via The New York Times.
“A woman who has said Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate nominee in Georgia, paid for her abortion in 2009 [said] that he urged her to terminate a second pregnancy two years later. They ended their relationship after she refused,” the Times reported.
“In a series of interviews, the woman said Mr. Walker had barely been involved in their now 10-year-old son’s life, offering little more than court-ordered child support and occasional gifts.”
These bombshell accusations, which Herschel has denied, matter because he’s positioned himself as a family values conservative. One who staunchly opposes all abortion, including in cases involving rape and incest.
Notably, RCP’s Senate projection doesn’t include Georgia:
Walker still has a chance to bounce back, some say, but only if he mounts an immediate response to the allegations against him.
It helps him that local media outlets have been focused on crime, not the media’s allegations, according to Atlanta-based conservative radio show host Erick Erickson:
Major tv stations in Atlanta have spent the last few days leading with stories about local crime and economic impact, not the Walker story. It provides Walker an opening to get out a message before people get to church and start talking on Sunday. But he’s got to act.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 7, 2022
The aspiring GOP senator did finally respond Friday, albeit through NBC News. which reported that he’s admitted to knowing and dating the woman who’s accused him of paying for one abortion and then later asking for another one.
However, he’s denied that he even once spoke to her about abortion.
“Walker said this was … the first time the woman, who is the mother of one of his four children, mentioned to him or his wife that she had had an abortion,” NBC News reported.
“The first I knew about any of this was when some reporter asked me about an abortion. And I’m like, ‘No, that’s a lie.’ And then I was asked if I paid for an abortion, and I said No. I did not pay for an abortion,” Walker said in his own words.
“I’m not saying she did or didn’t have one [an abortion]. I’m saying I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know,” he added.
The problem is the woman has provided evidence to the contrary.
“She supported [her] claims with a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a ‘get well’ card from Walker, and a bank deposit receipt that included an image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker,” The Daily Beast reported.
“The woman said there was a $125 difference because she ‘ball-parked’ the cost of an abortion after Googling the procedure and added on expenses such as travel and recovery costs,” the outlet added.
The good news is that Walker’s supporters have flocked to his side amid the allegations. In fact, donations to the campaign reportedly exploded after the allegations emerged.
I’m told @HerschelWalker via https://t.co/4uH2A8k1v8 had one of his best days of fundraising since he announced his candidacy in the past 24 hours. Left wing media attacks, increasingly, are the best advertising for Republicans. Herschel is winning, that’s why they are attacking.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 4, 2022
Could Walker really still win, though? Absolutely, says Erickson. The reason why is because of all the other relevant issues, namely crime.
His opponent, Raphael Warnock, is soft on crime.
“Students at Raphael Warnock’s alma mater are suffering under his anti-police, soft-on-crime policies. Warnock has made his intentions clear by voting with Biden 96% of the time. He will always put the liberal left and his woke agenda over Georgia citizens. Georgians deserve a Senator who will work to keep their communities and their families safe,” Walker’s campaign spokesperson said in a statement this week.
Meanwhile, local media outlets remain focused on crime stories:
I think a Walker win is far less likely today than last week, but this is why he shouldn’t be counted out just yet. Going to be interesting to see next week’s polling. pic.twitter.com/lcqcMSVBDB
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 8, 2022
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