COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — We are less than a week removed from the Midterm election. And just 22 days from the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff election.
Over the next three weeks, things will happen quickly.
The Senate runoff between Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker may not be for all the marbles because Democrats have locked up control of the Senate.
With some of the luster off the Georgia runoff because unlike 2021, it will not determine control of the U.S. Senate, it still matters.
And that’s why one Republican Florida senator is spending a lot of time trying to persuade Georgia voters to back Walker.
“Well, first off, it would be nice to have a majority,” U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said. “But we have to win this seat because we’re going to have an election in two years, and you don’t know how many seats we’re going to be able to win there. We have to win now here.”
Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson says there is urgency for the Democrats – but for another reason.
“We didn’t like that defeat we suffered just a week ago,” Johnson said. “We had not one Democrat on the statewide ballot win. We have a Democrat in the runoff. So, I think Democrats are more motivated than ever to go back to the polls to make sure we begin the process of getting ready for 2024.”
Republican strategist Brian Robinson estimates that somewhere between $50 million and $100 million total could be spent by both sides. That’s on top of the more than $250 million dollars already spent.
“A runoff is going to favor the operation that can quickly raise the most money and pour that into a ground and messaging operation in a very large electorate,” Robinson said. “It’s going to take a lot of money to be effective here, and it’s going to be more of a challenge to raise money in this atmosphere because it looks like control of the Senate is already determined.”
It’s also going to take a get-out the vote operation. Republicans will be using parts of the machine built by Gov. Brian Kemp, the leading vote-getter in last week’s election. Democrats will be counting on the grass-roots operation that propelled Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff to runoff wins two years ago.
“It is going to be an all-hands-on-deck proposition,” said State Sen. Carolyn Hugley, Columbus, D. “Democrats are going to be working through all of our avenues to encourage people to push, pull and drag people to go to the polls.”
Right now, early voting in Muscogee County is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. November 28th-December 2nd – Monday through Friday. Three locations. City Services Center, Columbus Technical College and Shirley Winston Park.