Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker dismisses a poll showing low support among black voters

Georgia Republican nominee for US Senate Herschel Walker disputes a poll showing he is not favorable among black voters.

SurveyUSA’s poll, released July 26, shows incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock outperforming Walker in the campaign among all Georgia voters. The disparity is even greater among black voters in the state, although political experts said Walker is able to siphon black votes away from Warnock.

“No, I think you’re wrong,” Walker said when asked about the poll results at the July 30 campaign rally in Alpharetta, a north Atlanta suburb. “I don’t have to argue with you about this. So I think you are wrong. You know you’re wrong.”

The SurveyUSA poll shows that 5 percent of black voters who responded to the poll favored Walker, the first black candidate in Georgia to secure the GOP nomination for the US Senate. According to the poll, Warnock is nine points ahead of his Republican challenger.

Though black voters have traditionally swayed to the left, incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp also outperformed Walker in the July poll of black Georgians. About 9 percent of black Georgians said they would vote for Kemp.

Many in Black America have criticized Walker for being a black caricature playing on racial stereotypes. They claim the GOP nominated him for the political race only to pit another black candidate against Warnock, a black church pastor once ruled by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Warnock became the first black senator after winning the runoff race in January 2021. Walker and Sen. Jon Ossoff were the first Democrats to secure s=senate seats in Congress since Sen. Zell Miller in 2005. The runoff victories also tore a majority of the Republicans out of their Senate.

Critics have called Walker “unfit” for the race. The former University of Georgia running back and Dallas Cowboys player has made headlines for lying about his credentials, maintaining a falsehood about black fathers and making nonsensical statements during his campaign. Polls show Walker’s support among black voters has declined in recent months. In January, 10.5 percent of black voters in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/University of Georgia poll said they would support Walker.

“It’s annoying because the entire raison d’être of the Walker Senate campaign is the belief that black people are easily manipulated children who will vote for other black people like seal swatters, eager to show off tricks for promising treats,” wrote Attorney and The Political Commentator Elie Mystal Jr.

Mystal, who wrote an April op-ed for The Nation magazine titled “The Herschel Walker Senate Campaign Is an Insult Black People,” doubled down on his criticism of the Republican on July 30. He told MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross Walker that Walker was handpicked by white Republicans because he would be obedient and join the partisan herd.

“You ask why the Republicans support this man who is so clearly unintelligent, who so clearly has no independent thoughts, but that’s really why. Walker will do what he’s told, and Republicans like that,” Mystal said. “That’s what Republicans want from their Negroes: to do as they’re told.”

“Walker presents himself precisely as a person who lacks independent thought, an independent agenda, an independent ability to understand policy, and he’s just going to go in and vote like Mitch McConnell tells them to vote.” he continued.

Black voter turnout is expected to be high in November as primary election figures show a record number of black Georgians cast early or absentee ballots. A surge in black turnout helped Democratic President Joe Biden reverse the state’s vote in 2020. Census data shows that 33 percent of Georgia’s population is Black, as is 29 percent of voters who cast ballots in the state in 2020.

Walker supporters say polls have been consistently wrong. Major polls in the 2016 presidential election put former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton ahead of then-newcomer former President Donald Trump, who won. Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker dismisses a poll showing low support among black voters

James Brien

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