A Herschel Walker candidacy is a total nightmare for Senate Republicans

Walker’s move from Texas, where he has lived for decades, to Georgia suggests he is likely to run for the seat currently held by Senator Raphael Warnock. And, given Walker’s high name – mostly derived from his celebrity years in football – and former President Donald Trump’s vocal support for his candidacy, Walker would immediately be the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

And that’s a BIG problem for Republicans.

While it’s impossible to predict exactly how a campaign between Warnock and Walker would unfold, what is clear is that the former NFL star would enter the race from this starting point. This reality has already led some Republican strategists close to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to denounce the dangers of Walker’s appointment.

“It’s about as complete a teardown that I’ve ever read”, tweeted Josh Holmes, a longtime McConnell adviser, earlier this month in AP history. “My lord.”
McConnell himself has yet to speak out publicly against Walker but, according to sources cited by CNN, has made his reservations very clearly in private. CNN’s Manu Raju, Alex Rogers and Mike Warren wrote earlier this month:
Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested to allies that former Georgia senators David Lost and Kelly loeffler should reconsider their candidacy, according to three sources familiar with the matter, after their small losses in January tipped the Senate under Democratic control. “

The problem for McConnell is that – as I noted above – if Walker is a candidate, he has a very good chance of being the party’s candidate given his fame and the very likely support he will have. of the former president. (In March, Trump released a statement that said in part, “He would be unstoppable, just like he was when he played for the Georgia Bulldogs and in the NFL. He’s a GREAT person too. Quotes Herschel, Classes ! )

Given the current power dynamics within the Republican Party, it’s not at all clear that a McConnell-backed candidate like Loeffler or Perdue can defeat Walker – even with the various issues I’ve documented above. surrounding it.

Which would then mean that in one of the best GOP pickup opportunities in the country, the party would present a candidate who is an opposition scholar’s dream – not to mention someone who has never run for office. post before 2022.

If this scenario comes true, it will have implications far beyond Georgia. Republicans only need one seat to regain control of the Senate in 2023. And Georgia, with the narrow margin of victory for Warnock and President Joe Biden in 2020, tops the pickup list. potentials. Lose Georgia, and Republicans must find a pickup elsewhere – in places like Arizona, where Senator Mark Kelly looks very strong, or New Hampshire, where essentially all GOP hopes rest on the potential governor’s candidacy. Chris Sununu.

In short, Senate Republicans are not in a position where they can simply write off one of their best pickup chances without feeling the impact elsewhere in the country. And while no one has to say conclusively that Walker would lose to Warnock, it’s quite clear that the former running back would have major challenges if he was the Republican nominee.

The worst thing for McConnell and his establishment Republican colleagues? They know it all. They just might not be able to stop it.


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