Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) broke down in tears as he advocated for Herschel Walker in the Georgia runoffs, declaring that if the Georgia candidate doesn’t make it to the Senate, Republicans will struggle to recruit Black voters and candidates in the future.
If Walker, who trailed Raphael Warnock by only around 30k votes in the November election, succeeds in the runoff, automatically triggered by neither candidate receiving 50% of the vote, he’ll be the second Black Republican Senator, joining Tim Scott from Graham’s own state, South Carolina.
Graham is incredibly invested in this outcome, and apparently not just because it’s the race that may decide whether the Senate is in Democrat or Republican control.
In Graham’s view, Walker’s election has long-term implications for the Republican Party, and the outcome will either inspire young Black Georgians to conservative political views or ensure that voters of color continue to reject the GOP. He begged and pleaded with conservative Georgians to get out and support Walker in December.
The turnout for a runoff or special election is typically significantly lower than in a general election and getting out the vote in this case — like in Georgia’s January 2021 special elections for Senate — could determine who holds Congress for the next two years. The question is whether Graham’s tears will be an effective way to compel those votes.
On Fox News, Graham said:
They’re trying to destroy Herschel to deter young men and women of color from being Republicans….If Herschel wins he’s going to inspire people all of Georgia of color to become Republicans, and I say all over the United States. Herschel Walker is a nightmare for liberals. He’s an African American conservative. They have belittled him, they have treated him like crap….The conservative movement for people of color is on the ballot in Georgia.
Lindsey Graham, eventually working himself up nearly to tears, claims, "they're trying to destroy Herschel to deter men and women of color from being Republicans" pic.twitter.com/feNlNIQpzk
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 11, 2022
Walker has been criticized, not only by progressives, but by his own son, a conservative influencer himself, for hypocrisy in allegedly paying for abortions and pressuring two ex-girlfriends into receiving the procedure, before running on an extremely anti-choice platform.
He’s also been criticized for a history of allegations of domestic violence, as well as for misrepresenting an honorary badge as evidence of law enforcement connections, and for generally struggling to express any coherent policy positions.
Pew Research polls this year indicated that only about 4% of Black voters planned to support Republicans in Congressional races, and only about 10% of Black voters identify with the Republican Party in general.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.