When The Daily Beast dropped what everyone is calling Herschel Walker’s “October Surprise” – the story of a woman Walker allegedly paid to have an abortion – there was already speculation that Walker’s campaign was doomed.
Then came the social media posts of his son, Christian Walker, which had political insiders calling and texting each other like crazy, screaming “It’s over!”
The Daily Beast has now followed up their original story with this:
Herschel Walker says he has no idea who this woman is who claims she had an abortion at his urging.
We can now reveal, with her permission, that the woman is actually the mother of one of his children. She has a lot to say: https://t.co/MrpT8wPIkz
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) October 6, 2022
The anonymous woman said that defense sounded ridiculous.
“Sure, I was stunned, but I guess it also doesn’t shock me, that maybe there are just so many of us that he truly doesn’t remember,” she said. “But then again, if he really forgot about it, that says something, too.”
The woman, a registered Democrat whose years-long relationship with Walker continued after the abortion, told The Daily Beast that her chief concern with revealing her name was because she is the mother of one of Walker’s own children and she wanted to protect her family’s privacy as best she could while also coming forward with the truth. (Walker has publicly acknowledged the child as his own, and the woman proved she is the child’s mother and provided credible evidence of a long-term relationship with Walker.)
The message is carefully crafted from an outlet that is notorious for left-wing activism and clickbait meant to stir up political drama. When you read the full story, you’ll note they offer no serious evidence other than the woman’s claims.
But it’s not the legitimacy of the claims that is important where the race is concerned. It’s the mere existence of the story that has people talking, and the bombshell allegations are pretty much assured to be covered by local media.
Ultimately, the question comes down to who Georgia voters think represents them best. And that is a hard question to answer. Right now, there are four types of Republicans out there:
- “We have to stand by Herschel Walker. It is imperative that we defeat Raphael Warnock.”
- “Can you believe the people twisting themselves into knots just to defend Herschel Walker?”
- “This is simply too much. A pox on both your houses. I’m staying home.”
- People who actually vote in Georgia.
Categories 1-3 are the people writing words on the Internet right now. The vast majority of them aren’t in Georgia, they frankly don’t want to be in Georgia, and they are so very online that they think this story is going to be an absolute game changer. And I’m not convinced it is at the level they claim it will be.
Walker was already losing ground in the polling thanks largely to an ad being run that features his ex-wife talking about the violence she experienced living with him. The ad is honestly brutal, though it is taken largely out of context. The interview was done with Walker sitting next to her, and the interview itself was on mental illness and overcoming it. But, you had to know that interview would be used against him.
It’s very likely that the dip in support for Walker comes from Republican women, who are extremely pro-family and do not respond well to issues like domestic violence allegations. They are probably more concerned with that ad then the Daily Beast story.
Warnock’s polling numbers have more or less flatlined, though they are ticking a bit upward. He hasn’t been at or above 50 percent in the polling average since July and even then, it was 50 percent for a few days. You can assume that Warnock’s ceiling is in the upper 40s at this point because so many people are turned off of the Democratic Party that they aren’t going to jump over to him now.
But, that doesn’t mean they’re going to stick with Walker through all this, and that’s the point of the Warnock team’s strategy. They want to make Walker so toxic that more moderate Republicans, particularly Republican women, don’t vote for him. If that ends up working, then Warnock wins.
But you have the economy. You have oil and gas prices. OPEC+ may have done Walker a favor. But, it’s not something you can clearly say is over. There are too many variables, not the least of which is the Democrats’ continued unpopularity among voters across all demographics.
Is Walker finished? It’s simply too soon to say.