Ex-NFL legend Herschel Walker may be the GOP’s best hope to unseat Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022, when the newly elected Democrat will have to run for re-election in Georgia.
According to the Washington Examiner, a new Trafalgar poll showed Walker with a slight edge over Warnock in a hypothetical match-up after former President Donald Trump said the football star would be “unstoppable” as a Senate candidate.
“Wouldn’t it be fantastic?”
Warnock, for his part, narrowly defeated then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) in a special election in January.
Walker, a Georgia native, won the Heisman Trophy when he played with the University of Georgia, then had a lengthy NFL career, the Examiner reported.
“Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia?” Trump said in a statement last week, according to The Hill.
“He would be unstoppable, just like he was when he played for the Georgia Bulldogs, and in the NFL. He is also a GREAT person,” the former president said. “Run Herschel, run!”
NEW Trump statement: “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia? He would be unstoppable, just like he was when he played for the Georgia Bulldogs, and in the NFL. He is also a GREAT person. Run Herschel, run!” pic.twitter.com/8mWFDE2pn0
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) March 10, 2021
Walker leads the pack
The former president and ex-running back have a friendship that goes back decades, and Walker even spoke at the Republican National Convention last year on Trump’s behalf.
“It hurt my soul to hear the terrible names that people called Donald,” Walker said at the time, as the Washington Examiner reported. “The worst one is racist. I take it as a personal insult that people would think I’ve had a 37-year friendship with a racist. People that think that don’t know what they’re talking about. Growing up in the Deep South, I’ve seen racism up close. I know what it is. And it isn’t Donald Trump.”
His close relationship with Trump seems to already be helping Walker win over Georgia voters; according to the Examiner, the recent Trafalgar poll showed that Walker also beat out previous GOP Senate candidates like Loeffler and former Rep. Doug Collins by double digits.
Ex-Sen. David Perdue (R), who narrowly lost to Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) in another special election in January, has said that he would not challenge Warnock in 2022, the Examiner reports. Perdue and Loeffler’s losses gave the effective Senate majority to Democrats, with a 50–50 tie that would be broken by the vice president, Kamala Harris.
To this point, Walker has not said whether he will run for Senate or any political office.