Why is Walker tied with Warnock in Georgia senate race despite questions about his credibility?

“Take the polling results with a grain of salt,” Nsé Ufot, CEO of New Georgia Project, told theGrio.

As the Senate race in Georgia heats up, a recent poll shows that U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Republican football legend Herschel Walker are deadlocked.

According to a poll conducted by East Carolina University’s Center for Survey Research, the two candidates are tied at 46 percent, with Sen. Warnock, also the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, being more favorable among Black voters and Walker appealing more to the white vote.

GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker and Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock. (Photo: Getty Images)

In an interview with theGrio, Nsé Ufot, CEO of New Georgia Project, warned that the “polling results” should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

“It is still quite early in the electoral cycle and, what I mean by early is, while both of these men have risen to household names…in the eyes of a lot of Georgians they’re still thinking about Herschel Walker the great football player from the ’80s,” said Ufot.

In the fight to defeat Warnock, Walker has vowed to put Georgia first, support small businesses and the working class, and as Ufot noted, “fight to make America energy independent…leading to lower gas prices, more American jobs being brought back from overseas, and stronger national security.” 

In recent weeks, however, Walker’s credibility has been called into question after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that there was a lack of evidence to support the 60-year-old Republican nominee’s claim that he was once a member of law enforcement.

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a rally at the Foundry in Athens, Georgia the night before the Republican primary on May 24. (Photo: Joshua L. Jones/USA TODAY NETWORK)

It has also been brought to light that the former Dallas Cowboys player, who is known for blasting Black absentee fathers, has three children whom he does not have a relationship with, as theGrio previously reported.

Ufot said she believes Georgia residents are star-struck by who Walker used to be as a famed NFL player, “and not the old man with secret children, who doesn’t live in Georgia and lies about his businesses and lies about his education.”  

If Walker wants a chance at winning the Senate seat in Georgia, he will have to win over the Black vote.

In November 2020 Senators Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Warnock unseated two longtime Republican senators after an overwhelming number of Black voters cast their ballots in favor of the two Democratic candidates, the Associated Press reported.

A spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) told theGrio that since the 52-year-old reverend took office in January 2021, “[He] has been fighting to get results on issues that matter to all Georgians like lowering costs, improving our supply chains, and making health care more affordable.” 

“He’s spearheading efforts to lower prices at the pump and hold oil companies accountable,” said the spokesman. “[He’s] working to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month and drive down the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and [he] successfully secured funding to create 700 new jobs at the Port of Savannah, which is also critical to relieving supply chain issues across Georgia.”

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., joined at right by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks with reporters before a key test vote on the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that would overhaul the election system and voting rights, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

With the 2022 midterm elections slowly approaching, Ufot told theGrio that there is time for Georgia residents to “evaluate” both senate candidates before casting a vote.

“Looking at the resumes you have in front of you,” she said, “people will have to look at Warnock and his tenure as a faith leader, his tenure as a scholar, his tenure as an activist, his tenure as a healthcare activist and I think we will have an opportunity to evaluate Herschel Walker’s contributions to society over the past couple of decades.”

Ufot said that Georgia needs a “champion” who is willing to fight on behalf of the state’s residents especially as the country continues to combat inflation.

“I think that while we are waiting for Georgia leaders to step up for Georgia families, the minimum wage in Georgia is $5 and 15 cents. So, the cost of gas a gallon is about to be higher than the minimum wage in Georgia,” she said.

“Having a champion on the federal government level is going to mean the world for the working class in Georgia.”

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