A new poll shows that Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D-Georgia) lead over his 2022 midterm challenger, former football player and Trump-endorsed Republican Herschel Walker, has widened by a double-digit margin. Notably, the vast majority of the poll’s respondents were surveyed before a report shedding light on Walker’s hypocrisy on abortion was published earlier this week.
According to a SurveyUSA poll conducted from September 30 to October 4, 50 percent of Georgia voters want Warnock to retain his seat in the Senate, while just 38 percent of voters say they want Walker to win instead.
This is a considerable split compared to other polls — per an aggregate of surveys collected by RealClearPolitics, Warnock only leads Walker by about 3.8 points on average.
It’s unclear if this new poll is an outlier or demonstrative of how the race is now trending. It’s also unclear if the numbers remain accurate, as 95 percent of respondents in the SurveyUSA poll were surveyed before news broke on Monday that Walker allegedly paid for a former girlfriend’s abortion 13 years ago.
The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Walker had paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009. The report included proof in the form of the woman’s receipt for the procedure, along with a get-well card and a copy of the check from Walker.
Abortion — a safe and routine medical procedure and a globally recognized human right — should not be considered scandulous in of itself. But Walker is ardently anti-abortion, and has called for a nationwide abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the pregnant person — situations that he has derogatorily described as “excuses” people use to justify undergoing the procedure. Abortion is currently banned in Georgia after six weeks of pregnancy, though the state allowed abortions in most cases before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year.
Walker has denied the reporting, calling it a “Democrat attack” against him. He vowed to file a defamation lawsuit the morning after the report was published, but several days later, it appears that no such lawsuit has been filed.
Walker’s son, a conservative influencer, has condemned his father’s hypocrisy on social media, telling his followers that he and his family were physically abused by the ex-NFL player back when he was a child.
“I don’t care about someone who has a bad past and takes accountability,” Christian Walker wrote on Twitter. “But how DARE YOU LIE and act as though you’re some ‘moral, Christian, upright man.’ You’ve lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives. How dare you.”
The scandal has already had a significant impact on Walker’s campaign. Former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Walker in the primaries, is now steering clear from campaigning with the candidate in the final weeks of the election season.
According to a CNN report that cited sources close to Trump, the former president is reluctant to campaign with Walker because he believes more allegations against the candidate will emerge soon. Trump is reportedly waiting for those news stories to drop before deciding whether or not to appear with Walker again ahead of the November 8 election.