After a report by the Daily Beast that anti-abortion Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker paid for an abortion for a girlfriend in 2009, Walker’s campaign says it had a “record-breaking” fundraising day, raking in more than $182,000.
While those fundraising dollars can be viewed as buttressing Walker’s campaign, Georgia’s lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, says the Republican Party is growing tired of Walker as a candidate. “I think every Republican knew that there was baggage out there,” Duncan, a fellow Republican, said of Walker in a CNN interview on Wednesday. “But the weight of that baggage is starting to feel a little closer to unbearable at this point.”
Walker, who famously said he supports a “no exception” abortion ban, has denied he paid for the woman to have an abortion. Additional reporting from the Daily Beast indicated the same woman who claims Walker paid for her to get an abortion in 2009 shares a child with Walker, while Walker has also denied this further assertion.
“And if we’re being intellectually honest, Herschel Walker won the primary because he scored a bunch of touchdowns back in the ’80s, and he was Donald Trump’s friend,” Duncan continued. “And now we’ve moved forward several months on the calendar and that’s no longer a recipe to win.”
Duncan did not specify what “baggage” he was referring to, and did not respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment on this story, but Walker has been accused of stalking and domestic violence, his campaign falsely claimed he graduated from the University of Georgia (he left school early), and he has faced criticism over peculiar comments on climate change.
Walker’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
A Thursday Insider/Fox 5 poll showed that Walker’s opponent, Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, is leading the Senate race. Warnock, in that poll, has 47% support compared with Walker’s 44%.
Past polling on this race is consistent with a close race, and MarketWatch’s Victor Reklaitis has outlined how Georgia’s Senate race in 2022 could sway which party controls the chamber after the November midterms. And the Senate balance of power may not be known until December if neither candidate wins over 50% of the vote, triggering a runoff under state law.
The GOP currently has a lead on the generic ballot and is an 81% favorite to win control of the House of Representatives as of Oct. 5. Democrats have a slight edge to control the Senate, according to the betting markets.